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On their 2000 debut full-length, The Noise Made by People (Warp/Tommy Boy), Broadcast rearranged post-rock building blocks–electronic textures, cinematic melodies and arrangements, psychedelic keyboard patterns–without sounding like self-satisfied bores. The quartet’s tunes could have been James Bond theme songs decorated with abstract electronic gurgling and set to a Krautrock beat. The group proved they weren’t just a studio phenomenon when they made their Chicago debut that fall, sustaining their energy throughout the set; I was impressed with singer Trish Keenan’s stately articulation and Tim Felton’s inventive guitar in particular. It’s hard to tell where the group is heading with its brand-new Pendulum (Warp), a six-track prelude to a new album due this summer. A lot of the material doesn’t seem finished–jarring instrumentals like “One Hour Empire” and “Violent Playground,” which sound like wiggy basement jams by the Silver Apples, suggest they might be padding things a bit. But the title track–the only song that will appear on the album–increases the tension between Keenan’s sweet but cool schoolgirl warble and the band’s instrumental attack, countering her sleek melodies with a motorik groove composed of primal drum wallop, relentlessly grinding synth, swirling guitar noise, and electronic washes. Openers Electrelane, an instrumental quartet from Brighton, England, also show strong Krautrock leanings on their debut album, Rock It to the Moon (Mr. Lady, 2001), where they play surf riffs and Farfisa licks against twitchy, minimal beats. The band is in town recording a new album for Too Pure Records with Steve Albini. Wednesday, May 14, 9 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace; 773-478-4408.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Simon Rackham.