Music | Museum of Love self-titled debut album review

What do Dave Grohl, Tommy Lee and LCD Soundsystem’s Pat Mahoney all have in common? Well as of this year they’re all drummers who have taken up lead vocalist duties in new ventures. On this disco inspired first full-length offering under the name Museum of Love, Mahoney strikes up a partnership with New York producer Dennis McNany for a compelling release on former bandmate James Murphy’s DFA Records.

Both the dance-punk of LCD Soundsystem and the disco grooves McNany is better known for are heard throughout, but here they come together to make something more laid back that what we’ve heard from either musician before. Right from the 38 second album intro ‘Horizonlator’, the tone is set for 40 minutes of pure disco-house. Highlights include the catchy arpeggios of recent single ‘Down South’, a master-class in layering on ‘The Who’s Who of Who Cares’ and ‘And All The Winners’, which ends the album on a definite high.

Daft Punk comparisons can clearly be drawn here, which is ironic given said band were given a somewhat tongue-in-cheek namecheck on Soundsystem’s 2005 debut album. However, Mahoney’s wide-ranging vocals are also surprisingly reminiscent of alternative godfathers Damon Albarn and Gruff Rhys, particularly on the brass synth driven fourth track ‘FATHERS’. Having said that, the pair do sometimes struggle to find their footing with an overload of synths even by their standards, resulting in some tracks bearing a resemblance to a composition by a GCSE music student with a Casio keyboard instead of two world class musicians. But even though this first complete album isn’t consistent in quality, it is nothing if not absorbing and it’ll be interesting to see where this partnership goes from here.

John Gibby

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