One of my favorite things in the whole wide world used to be 12″ singles. I loved everything about them in fact. I can proudly say that I still own all of my originals even though I have to buy a new turntable because mine basically went to the big DJ booth in the sky. Extended editions, dance remixes, b-sides and the like were my candy. New Order, Morrissey, Prince, Electronic, Echo & the Bunnymen- these are amongst the vinyl discs lining my shelves. There are some that didn’t make it, however, such as Yello’s “Oh Yeah,” for a brief time when music became less dancy and more aggro, it fell out of favor. Now I wish I had it back. But I have found something to fill the void, something better. I have found Out Hud.
The New York by way of Sacramento fivesome which shares members with !!! (Chk Chk Chk) finally has a second album out. Let Us Never Speak of it Again is bloody brilliant. From the first real track, “It’s For You,” with its Tom Tom Club on acid feel to the rapid BPM and philosophical lyrics of “The Stoked American” (“If I had back all the time I lost/ I’d spend it with me again/ but this time we’d have more fun“), Out Hud bring on the most sophisticated dance music to hit the streets in a long while. First single, “One Life to Leave” is probably the closest thing to !!! on the album, albeit with vocals by the band-fronting females, Phyllis and Molly. Their sexy ingenue voices combined with Tyler Pope’s Nick Heyward style guitars and Nic Offer’s dancy bass creates a magical aura that makes you think its 1988 all over again. (Remember “Blue Monday 1988”? You’ll come a little close to Out Hud with that one.)
“Old Nude” provides one of the coolest moments in the album at about 2:50 in when it transitions to a different sound and the coolest keyboard riff I’ve heard. Try not to get that one into your head! Then, Molly and Nic start chanting lyrics, “That’s how he gets what he wants…underneath a thousand lights, with the total of a trillion watts,” which is reprised later in the remixed version, “A Trillion Watts” with harp by Espers contributor Jesse Sparhawk. Pop Quiz: what’s the one instrument you would guess would not fit in with an electronic dance band? Well, aside from the kazoo, some might say cello, but that’s exactly what Molly plays in the band and it fits perfectly. Case in point, the subtle string sound at the end of the aforementioned “Old Nude.” It’s such a seamless sound that you might not notice it at first.
Let Us Never Speak of it Again has all this plus some of the best song titles since their first release, S.T.R.E.E.T.D.A.D.. The latter had such titles as “Hair Dude, You’re Stepping on My Mystique” and “The L Train is a Swell Train and I Don’t Want To Hear You Indies Complain,” but the new album has “Dear Mr. Bush, There are over 100 words for shit and only 1 for music. Fuck You, Out Hud”. Stellar.