Apparently Matthew Dear’s forthcoming album, Beams, is a brighter affair than its predecessor, the relentlessly sleazy Black City. So far we’ve heard “Headcage“, which confirms this notion, and the opener “Her Fantasy”, which gives the lie to it. The B-side to the latter is “Crimewaves” (see above), and it sees Dear nail the bipolar aesthetic firmly on the head.
The bouncy, nervous white-boy funk recalls Talking Heads at their most affected, while the vocals are multi-tracked and troubled. The way those stabs of simulated brass pierce through the orgiastic wash of background cooing makes the funhouse lead vocal that bit more warped. It’s as if the funfair ride has spiralled out of control, taking its crazed passenger on the trip of nightmares.
Near the end, there’s also a masterful about-turn which references, I’m sure, “Little People (Black City)”. What’s even more gauche is the way it gets to it: a messy soup of digital gloop, which slowly resolves into a stacked choral sucker-punch.