Live: The Rapture Rise Again, Semi-Secretively, At Union Pool

More cowbell, comin' up
More cowbell, comin' up

The Rapture Union Pool Wednesday, June 23

They're right where you left them. Sort of. "The two new songs sound like fuckin' Animal Collective!" bellows some dude into his cell phone with mock derision, sauntering away from the semi-secret Rapture show. "You're gonna love it." He's maybe half-right. Not sure which half.

Well, actually, I can pretty much confirm that the new songs don't sound like fuckin' Animal Collective. They're built on the same foundation -- high-hat disco drumbeats, liquid punk-funk bass, bowel-jostling keyboard blares, the occasional sax solo, the far more occasional cowbell fugue, and the yelping falsetto exhortations of frontman Luke Jenner -- that made everyone go nuts lo seven or so years ago. ("We hope you die bored," heh.) "Sail awwwaaaaayyyy," Jenner howls climactically on one of the new ones, the synth-bassline particularly enormous, before he settles in and barks the command "Don't ever look back," six straight times.

The rest of the time, of course, we look back. "One two three four/Kick that fucker out the door," cheer the indie kids Echoes taught to dance again. There's the riotous tune that sounds suspiciously like PiL's "Careering," and the slow, uncharacteristically reflective ballad that sounds suspiciously like Lou Reed's "Perfect Day." (Jenner diffuses the melodrama a bit by whacking himself in the face in a mic-stand mishap.) And, yes, yes, there is "House of Jealous Lovers," which let's not betray our slightly younger selves and pretend isn't still a pretty great fuckin' song, sounding in 2010 as blissfully nostalgic for its own heyday as the song in its heyday sounded nostalgic for Gang of Four/No Wave/whatever. Any band that has to title a post on its MySpace blog "It's been a long time..." faces an uphill battle, but you loved that cowbell back then -- you did -- and I can think of way worse things to come back in style.

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