“Always Never Again” starts off with “Born Into The World” , a track that has the unique distinction of mixing Flood-era They Might Be Giants with Chromeo. This, coupled with a lush production and a lack of distorted fuzz, is probably what will hook the most individuals. The fact that organi and inorganic provide such a harmony is something that cannot be denigrated; acoustic guitar and bass work perfectly alongside eighties-influenced synthesizer lines. The Nintendo-esque opening to the crack-sped “Everybody Sings” makes a Ben Stiller-sounding set of vocals play alongside an Ayumi Hamasaki track, coupled with the Spanish-influenced guitars of “Born Into The World”. This is a dance song, but it does not follow directly from any of the movements that have revolutionized the sound in the last 20 years: this is innovative, and it would be a shame not to give the band dap for that fact.
Never allowing their listeners to rest, this disc would be perfect in another format: non-stop sections of DDR. Everything is done with the same spastic beat and general sound, that emanates from the earliest sections of the disc. This is Electric Six taken another four steps, and shucked of the irony that laminated the former’s disc. “Always Never Again”’s veneer begins to crack with “Six Cities”, which uses the same listing style of vocals that were barely tolerable with the first track on this disc. Couple that with the Spanish influenced guitar that makes residency like a parasite on “Always Never Again”, and the track really does not have much in the way of innovation to it. “Click-Click” is a more solid track than the immediately preceding cuts on this disc, but again lacks in the innovative impressiveness that really distinguished the disc in the earliest goings.
What really hits me as “Always Never Again”’s biggest problem is something that affects a whole host, if not the majority, of what are considered “Dance” artists. When a person gets into a groove (and it can be an established artist like Armand Van Helden or Gigi D’Agostino, or a newbie like Sarina Paris), there is very little that can divource them from it. The same general sound predominates, and while Supersystem tries their best to shake up things with clapping and a more Global South-sound (on tracks like “The Love Story”, the fact is they are not strong enough at this juncture to escape that orbit. Maybe next time, though.
Top Tracks: 1977, Six Cities