(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Echoes (2003) , 7/10
Pieces Of The People We Love (2006), 5.5/10
In the Grace of Your Love (2011), 5/10

Rapture, formed by vocalist and guitarist Luke Jenner (a cross between Cure's Robert Smith and Joy Division's Ian Curtis) and drummer Vito Roccoforte, both formerly of the synth-based new-wavers Calculators, who released Circuit Breaking Silence (1998) and the mini-album Simplicity & Style (1999), debuted in San Francisco as a retro-act that harked back to the new wave with the single The Chair That Squeaks (1998) and the mini-album Mirror (Gravity, 1999): ominous, convoluted and angular post-hardcore (Frames Frames Frames).

Relocating to New York, they enlisted bassist Matt Safer and saxophonist Gabriel Andruzzi and recorded the mini-album Out Of The Races And Onto The Tracks (Subpop, 2001), under the supervision of production duo DFA (James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy). The sound changed radically, veering towards the progressive funk-punk of the Talking Heads and the Contortions (Out Of The Races And Onto The Tracks, Modern Romance).

The influence of Public Image Ltd's gothic dance-rock is strong on Echoes (Universal, 2003), Rapture's first full-length, produced by DFA (James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem and Tim Goldsworthy). Sister Saviour (the most straightforward propulsion, anguished Lou Reed-ian lament, fractured guitar lines) and I Need Your Love resurrect Blondie's disco-punk madness, but the tortured soul of Olio (syncopated poliyrhythm, grotesque synth, discrete piano) and Heaven (one of their older tracks, Jimi Hendrix-ian limping attack, psychedelic coda) brings the Cure to the dancefloor, while the shrill Killing and the convoluted Echoes and especially House of Jealous Lovers (their first single, African-funky-surf beat, neurotic new-wave vocals, atonal guitar) turned dance-music into a self-flagellation process. When they don't dance, they indulge in strange imitations of classic rock: the decadent/fatale stance of David Bowie in the brooding piano-driven kammerspiel of Open Up Your Heart, Neil Young fronting the Who in the transcendental power-ballad Love Is All, the psychedelic trance of the Velvet Underground in the gloomy slo-core dirge Infatuation. The album has enough variety to spawn a whole family of rock, pop and dance bands. The most successful songs achieve a disturbing sense of alienation and frustration by staging rituals that, in the most orthodox new-wave aesthetics, are supposed to be hedonistic but turn out to be the opposite.

Low Income Tomorrowland (Apple Core, 2006) is a creative mix album.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Massimiliano Monteverdi)

Formati dal cantante Luke Jenner (un incrocio fra la voce di Robert Smith dei Cure e quella di Ian Curtis dei Joy Division) e dal batterista Vito Roccoforte, i Rapture hanno esordito a San Francisco con un retro-act che si rifà alla new wave, pubblicando il singolo The Chair That Squeaks (1998) e il mini Mirror (Gravity, 1999), un post-hardcore sinistro, involuto e ridotto all’osso (Frames Frames Frames).

Stabilitisi a New York, hanno arruolato il bassista Matt Safer e il sassofonista Gabriel Andruzzi e registrato, sotto la supervisione del duo produttivo DFA (James Murphy e Tim Goldsworthy), il mini Out Of The Races And Onto The Tracks (Subpop, 2001). Il loro sound subisce una mutazione radicale, virando ora verso il progressive funk-punk di Talking Heads e dei Contortions (Out Of The Races And Onto The Tracks, Modern Romance).

L’influenza del dark dance-rock dei Public Image Ltd è determinante su Echoes (Universal, 2003), il loro primo album. I Need Your Love riporta in vita la disco-music di Blondie, mentre Sister Saviour e soprattutto House of Jealous Lovers (il primo singolo) fanno il verso al "Madchester"sound e al suo synth-pop; il soul torturato di Olio e Heaven, due tra i loro primi pezzi, portano i Cure in discoteca, e Killing e Echoes trasformano la dance-music in un rituale privato di autoflagellazione. Quando non ballano, indulgono alle pose decadenti e fatali di Lou Reed o di Tom Verlaine: il meditativo kammerspiel pianistico di Open Up Your Heart, la power-ballad trascendentale Love Is All (Neil Young alle prese con gli Who), il cupo slo-core del lamento funebre Infatuation.

Recycling the same ideas with barely a more assertive production, Pieces Of The People We Love (2006) is certainly far from original but it succeeds in delivering another batch of ammunitions for the dancefloor (Don Gon Do It, Get Myself Into It, The Devil). It fails, though, when it tries to open new avenues of expression. Apparently, it was the producers (DFA) that made the difference on the first album.

Tapes (2008) is a mix album.

In the Grace of Your Love (2011) boasts the piano-driven single "How Deep Is Your Love?", one of their best, but the rest is ridiculous fodder that winks at all sorts of popular styles like a prostitute desperate to cash in anyhow anywhere.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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