Saturday, May 27th, 2017

LCD Soundsystem – call the police

Man, we didn’t particularly like anything today, did we?


Tim de Reuse: Sixteen years ago, James Murphy’s first single as LCD Soundsystem was about poking fun at the stylistic pretensions of people younger than him; over his next three albums, he gradually perfected the persona of the slightly schlubby, tired, middle-aged dude who’s supposed to be too old for this “dance music” shit but sticks around nevertheless. He wrote vague songs about age and disillusionment and partying and New York and got on the in-store soundtrack of every Blockbuster from coast to coast. Between the releases of Sound of Silver and This is Happening, ten trillion articles were written on how supposedly uncool his beard was. I was curious how this so-unhip-it’s-actually-hip-’cause-he-knows-he’s-unhip image would adapt to the latter half of the twenty-tens; unfortunately, it didn’t. “call the police” addresses the current state of things with a noncommittal cry of “Whoa, this is all pretty crazy, isn’t it?,” culminating in a climax that confuses reference with commentary and comes off as more confused than incisive as a result. These rambling, indulgent rants worked when they were self-obsessed and self-deprecating, but attacking 2017 with the exact same technique just doesn’t make any goddamn sense; in the space where previous tunes were achingly nostalgic or monstrously clever all I’m getting off of this one is a feathery, sarcastic message of half-worry. All that said, this isn’t a bad song; It sounds as gorgeous and punchy as Murphy’s arrangements have ever sounded, and an energetic enough I – IV – I Bowie worship session will do it for me any day of the week. It’s just that every time I hear Murphy proclaim that it “gives him the blues” when people “argue the history of the Jews” I feel like listening to the numerous songs off of Murphy’s last album that did this kind of thing better but weren’t so ill-conceived. Or, better, I could just listen to Bowie.

Alfred Soto: The guitars pull James Murphy backward where (when?) he wants to be: the teen listening to The Cure’s “Push,” conscious of history, unaware that fifteen years hence he’d write a song commemorating that history — a history as biography. I suppose Murphy gets credit for picking up where he left off. Nothing on “call the police” sounds like felonious, much less like a misdemeanor, despite those guitars.

Thomas Inskeep: Like U2 if they actually had rhythm, with a bassline so epic it could be peak-era JD/NO Peter Hook. The guitar line sounds equally of Pulp and Blondie. And I love that they can pull this off live, flawlessly. Perhaps this is just the comeback we need in 2017. 

Claire Biddles: Like an mp3 of “All My Friends” that has been copied over and over again until all of its defining features have washed away into the ether, “call the police” is so old and dull and long that it makes me want to start using proper capitalisation in my tweets again purely as an act of defiance.

Edward Okulicz: This song’s harmless, anodyne chug suggests no criminal intent, danger, or even edginess at all. I give two points because part of it reminds me of “Dakota” by Stereophonics, in a good way. The rest of it also reminds me of landfill mainstream indie rock from the mid-2000s, and not in a good way.

Rachel Bowles: Sounds like the Strokes. Not what I want from an LCD Soundsystem song, especially one referencing Berlin and Death From Above (1979). It all sounds very indie 2007, but not LCD Soundsystem 2007 sadly. Gimme Get Innocuous and Losing My Edge. Maybe I’m too auld.

Maxwell Cavaseno: Call the police, more like call the coroner, ’cause I thought we finally put James Murphy down once and for all!?!? Like the one ugly awful band of my adolescence that was adjacent to bands I wanted to listen to and not the people who made my childhood neighborhoods to expensive to live in (Refused, for the record) LCD Soundsystem did some documentary/concert putting a pin on their supposed legacy, despite the fact that people generally thought they had one ‘good’ (mmm… dubious) single. LCD Soundsystem are a band comprised of taste… Not of their fans, of Murphy, constantly showing the right moves, the right things to sound like. Here he’s doing a ghastly fake Bowie voice invoking viruses and Berlin (at least he did the grace of letting the cancer take him, hearing this would’ve been all the more painful) while the bass thwacks obnoxiously and the guitar twangs in a way to scream “POST-PUNK BRAAAAAAAJJjjjjddddoooYOUUUUULIIIIKEEEEEANCUHHHRRRTZZZMEEEETOOOOOBRUUUUUUUUUUUH” at us while we do our best to feign politeness in the hopes this selfish asshole will go away. Seriously, why are all of his songs badly done Neu! grooves with fake Springsteenian lyrical blather that NEVER GO ANYWHERE AND NEVER STOP. In fact, don’t call the cops, call someone to fumigate the rotten buzz of this record.

Reader average: [6.25] (4 votes)

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5 Responses to “LCD Soundsystem – call the police”

  1. I couldn’t think of what to say, but Claire basically said it better than I could – my general idea was that “All My Friends” doesn’t sound like an anthem, even if it became one, but this one tries so hard to be an anthem that it just falls flat.

    The “history of the Jews” verse is especially bad because like Tim said, there isn’t much point to it beyond saying “hey, these things exist, I guess!”

  2. “At least he did the grace of letting the cancer take him”

    Maxwell’s obnoxiousness knows no bounds.

  3. Shut the fuck up Maxwell

  4. I make friends everywhere I go.

  5. the problem is that badly done neu! grooves are the only things in this world that make me feel joy anymore