reviewed by Michael Thomas
Reindeer have always been a shape-shifting duo, going for a Gorillaz-esque vibe in City of Garden and a more electro-pop centred sound on their self-titled debut. They’re in the process of completing another full-length—who knows what they’ll sound like then—but for now, they’ve focused on making fun, summery, synth-heavy jams. And it’s hard to argue against their move to a poppier direction.
It’s no surprise that this album is a little more listener-friendly given its origin story—Dan Currie was inspired to make music inspired by Venice Beach and Hollywood after taking a trip to Los Angeles. The result: some fun summer music before the band moves onto recording its bigger project.
These four songs are designed to make you dance and you will definitely be doing a lot of that as you listen. All four songs are catchy as hell, from the “woo woo!” of “Smoke” to the hypnotic synths and repetition “never find my way back” in “Strange Behaviour.” Reindeer haven’t ever been this deliberate in making pop music, but that’s fine—they always seem to have fun throwing out ideas and seeing what lands.
The structure of the EP has the duo easing listeners in. “OpenFire” starts off slower, allowing many repetitions of “Open fire on your live” before the synths kick in and some falsetto vocals come into back up each repetition. From that point onward, you’re free to dance. “Strange Behaviour” works into a hypnotic dance,
“Who knows you’re here” works in a bigger group of vocals, turning the song into a demented call-and-response, and “Smoke,” which we previously featured as a single, works perfectly as a closer. It’s an all-around jam, with big vocals and a bassy synth that it’s impossible to not groove to.
It’s good to see that Reindeer is continuing to put music out there—we could always use a little more of their brand of fun.
Top Track: “Smoke”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)