Happy People/Hey You
Synths get a bad rap in an age when the press goes gaga over bubble-gum eurodance. If anything can right that wrong, it’s the straightforward floor-stomping assault of Das Fluff. The Shoreditch party monsters’ unmistakable brand of propelling beats, smooth riffs and vibrant atmospheres make up a meaty, utterly contagious concoction, aptly epitomized by the trio’s debut double A-side single Happy People/Hey You.
Self-described purveyors of ‘electro sleaze-pop’, the band’s high-powered live shows owe much of their swaggering chutzpah to Steve May’s buzz-saw guitars. In their studio tracks, however, Das Fluff reveals a slicker sound, endowing their addictive tunes with stylish electronic arrangements. The Fluff stuff is custom-made for repeated listening. Expect to hear the most exciting synth textures since Alan Wilder left Depeche Mode.
Lead singer Dawn Lintern’s vocals ring with undiluted attitude, crooning like Johnette Napolitano, only to ignite into Patti Smith growls. Ms. Lintern fits into rock chanteuses’ long tradition of aggressive sensuality, combining throaty allure and nagging anger into the perfect vehicle for the group’s acerbic lyrics. “Show me how to smile (…) I must imitate the wise,” yodels the vixen in Happy People, galvanizing the ambiguous verses into bitter mockery. In the same vein, the syncopated club grooves of Hey You accompany sharp insights about the climate of chronic overexposure that drives the age of social media: “forgive, forget, move on” becomes “relive, regret, log on”, with our competitive, friend-collecting exhibitionism duly unmasked by the terse wisdom of “let’s not pretend this isn’t war.”
This is catchy pop with substance, and largely because, musically and lyrically, Das Fluff plays with fire. Its throbbing electro rhythms revolve within a proud language of 80s excess, while the words paint mordant caricatures by closely mirroring their targets. How refreshing when bands know how to use irony.
The Fluffers’ debut single precedes a full-length album, Would You Die For Me, to be released in May. Hold your breath for an extended dose of sardonic hedonism. With the exquisite flavour of their two-track taster still lingering in my mouth, I certainly will.
Happy People/Hey You by Das Fluff; Sohappymusic, 2011. Available 4 April. 99p per track from www.dasfluff.com