Wooo! Prog breakbeat acid freaks unite. Pitchfork ratings for your favorite artists don't mean anything unless they're good - but Muscles got an 8.3, so, put that in your pocket.
Nitsuh Abebe says:
"One of my favorite old stories about rave-era England is the one where the local toughs-- skinheads, soccer hooligans-- would suddenly appear at parties, loved up on ecstasy and wanting to give everyone a hug. Few of us were there for that, of course, but it's something you can actually hear in the music of that time, which developed pockets of dude-friendliness: more bone-headed energy, more stadium chanting, more everyday-guy stuff. This happens whenever more people start going to parties and dancing, and there's no reason it should always be a bad thing-- some guys somewhere will skirt away from the usual glamour and sexuality of dance music, using their synths to get across rock-bred stuff like pop hooks, party shouting, and songs about girls.
Muscles doesn't sound like a bonehead or a tough guy-- not in the least-- and he's definitely not trying to do anything to dance music. But he's part of a long line of that sort of thing, the same one that includes New Order, the Streets, "Born Slippy", the "hooligan house" of Audio Bullys, or his more-stylish fellow Australians in Cut Copy. That lack of cool, in fact, is important here. Muscles' tracks start off as rough-and-ready bedroom-laptop electro-pop, the sort of thing you might hear at any loft party full of dudes in neon sweatshirts-- but then these tracks drop into huge emotional gestures, from the wet, sentimental synths of trance to the classic buoyancy of house piano rhythms. (It's the opposite of electroclash-- earnest and warm instead of arch and icy.) Neither does he sound like a guy who's trying to be clever, cool, serious, or arty, though he pulls off all four. Mostly, he just sounds like a guy who is PSYCHED, like some kind of dancefloor Andrew W.K." (Full review)
We steal the mike to sing every time this comes on at the Never on Sunday chip shop and they don't get mad:
Muscles - Sweaty
Buy Guns Babes Lemonade
Did you read about the Streets just then and think about how much you miss Mike Skinner? Us too. Here's a morsel to tide you over until we get another proper:
The Mitchell Brothers feat. Leo the Lion and The Streets - She's Got It All Wrong