Album Review: Django Django - Django Django

by David Safar

Album art for Django Django's self-titled album
Album art for Django Django's self-titled album (Album Art)

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Let's hear it for the U.K. indie rock bands, who this year have all but jumped the pond with four releases making the Mercury Music Prize nominees. Split 50/50, veterans and newbies. In January, The Maccabees led the way with Given To The Wild, an almost entirely overlooked release in the U.S. with a handful of positive reviews but little chart or sales success. Then in February, Field Music released an album hailed by the U.K. press, but ignored stateside (the album was never given a proper U.S. release). Alt-J's An Awesome Wave broke through other debuts by winning the Mercury Music Prize and completing a North American tour with dates in the Midwest and Canada. Waiting in the wings for 2013 is Django Django with their 2012 self-titled debut.

For new music junkies, Django Django's release is old news. The band made a resounding first impression at SXSW 2012 before signing a U.S. deal with Ribbon Music (an imprint of Domino Records). Fans didn't need to wait for the September U.S. release date to consume the best of Django Django. "Hail Bop," "Storm," and "Default" have been viral tracks for the better part of the year. The band successfully toured the coasts this fall but unlike Alt-J failed to deliver shows for fans across the majority of the U.S.

It would be easy to write off this band as another garden variety import of 2012, but Django Django is primed for a late breakout in the new year if their album makes year-end lists as predicted. While Alt-J has been given artist credit through comparisons to Radiohead, Django Django should be celebrated as the most inventive among their peers. Django Django deliver a dreamy psych-rock sound that is reminiscent of The Beta Band's mixture of rock and electronic textures. A refreshing departure from the glut of uninspired psychedelic garage rock released this year.

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