Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)

(Rough Trade, 2005)

You know that Arcade Fire released five singles in the UK – plus another in America – during Funeral’s shelf-lifespan? FIVE! From a ten-song album! OK, fine, the third single (“Cold Wind”) was a non-LP track, but still! No denying that the thing was piping-hot shit! These songs were absolutely inescapable for well over a year… bars, parties, seeping through the walls of my housemate’s bedroom. And “Rebellion (Lies)” was definitely one of the biggies. That nagging, repetitive piano bangin’ away all percussively in there is key to the operation, and it serves the same function as the rhythm guitar in “Power Out”: it’s catchy, but also keeps the listener tense as the song builds to its inevitable full-throated, instro-blast climax. It’s not so different from the general template followed by other tracks on the album, but it’s still a dark, fun, powerful-sounding single that qualifies as another play-it-loud winner for the group. Now turn dat white vinyl over and take a snooze to an is-what-it-is, ragged live version of the A-side that doesn’t deserve much comment. Boy, given the lack of quality B-sides, they sure ran outta outtakes and other studio whatnot mighty quick for a young band.

&: Am I crazy, or does the Arcade Fire sound a whole lot like a more rock-based Polyphonic Spree? Listening to this record, I don’t think I’m too nutty in saying that. Check out the voices, and the way both bands build and release tension. Huh!

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