Though sporting a seasonally-appropriate band name, Reindeer is not, in fact, a Christmas music group but an electronic duo. Somewhat hilariously described as “two musicians who set out to make a pop record but came up 40 years short,” their sound is very much in line with modern excellence.
The duo is Dan Currie on beats and Damion “Dame” Ceniccola on vocals. The two fit together nicely, with Currie’s beats providing the danceable landscape and Ceniccola’s soulful vocals fitting right alongside it.
From the opening instrumentals of “miami speed boat music,” it’s clear that the band is setting up to take the listener on a groove-filled journey, and it thoroughly delivers on that front. The 40-second intro flows into “offthemirror” features a thoroughly 70s-inspired backdrop and Ceniccola’s great falsetto, mixed in with some vocal distortion that brings to mind Daft Punk, or perhaps Tupper Ware Remix Party.
On a few songs, the duo bring in some guest vocalists, and two songs with Lu Nicola are some of the best on the album. “rocka” somehow just fits together in a way that seems right, and “cooler than you” employs a wide range of sounds to give the illusion of horns and possibly even strings.
When it seems like the duo is about to bring the groove to exhaustion, they slow things down starting with “white lies (out of love),” with beats that for the first time on the album project an atmosphere of introspection. This carries into “lions & chains,” which sounds almost mournful. As that song goes on, it builds into something monumental, and it’s an interesting note that the duo can pull of crescendoes in electronic music.
The album ends on a strong note with “summer days” and then the sparse “broken tusk.” It certainly feels like the journey has come to an end, and we can only hope Reindeer’s hooves will make more appearances on the dance floor.
Top Tracks: “rocka”; “thursday night pickup”; “cooler than you”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)