Last of the Analogue Kids – Wait for Night (bandcamp.com)

By Mark Youll | 29th August, 2011 | album reviews |

Last of the Analogue Kids

Wait for Night

Record label: Bandcamp.com

Release date: August 2011

Verdict: ***

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You have to wonder - from the cold beats and icy electronica that thaw out throughout this mysterious, and at times, haunting debut LP - whether it was intentional, accidental or merely ambition for the Last of the Analogue Kids to throw out a set of songs that sound as far away from their radiant Sydney origins as possible.

A collection of songs, born and demoed in a plush, forty-degree, sun-stained studio somewhere in the beach suburb of Malabar, east of Sydney, that romantically reference the less than glitzy highs of a drizzly Scarborough and a picturesque Gunnerside Gill, is almost like Icelandic rockists Sigur Ros penning something as L.A-scorched as Thriller, or Beenie Man dropping an LP that sounds as far flung from his West Indian roots as Definitely Maybe.

“a jumbled journal of poignant pop songs, that appear to flip the typical traits and often transparent subject matters of the modern singer songwriter, upside down.”

Of course, it all falls into place when you discover that the Last Analogue Kid himself – producer, drummer, vocalist and head creative type here Miles Nicholas – was in fact British-bred and fed on a diverse diet of XTC, Madness, Miles Davis, Talking Heads, Genesis and Van Morrison, long before he decamped to Oz in the late-90’s, and found his ears anywhere near the likes of The Knife, Brian Eno, Can, Kate Bush, Nick Cave, or whatever else happened to help shape an album quite like this one.

Stylistically, a record quite like this one could easily have been fuelled by such mighty sources, but – as is obvious from the eleven tracks featured here – it’s a record that’s far from setting out its stall as just some sort of muso testament to Miles’ rave for new-wave, his ardour for jazz, or even his soft spot for krautrock.

Opener Withers reveals Miles’ motives perfectly. Propped up with some edgy programming, sultry piano and 808 handclaps, it’s an ambient accolade to Soulsters Bill Withers, Al Green and for all intensive purposes, a song possibly about weakness and desperation. Miles’s voice, breathy and almost monotone, installs a haunting quality that grips a lot of the album. Sparse and floaty at first, Withers charges towards an electric finale with Miles now joined by the virtuous voice of Miss Caitlin Park, their harmonies surviving the industrial-like din of slamming drums and crunching guitar chords that bring this mangled track to a full stop.

The staccato synths suspended across the breezy four-to-the-floor thump of A Hat in the Snow are reminiscent of Kraftwerk’s Neon Lights, had such a song surfaced from fizzy 90’s House and welcomed the sort of elegant and sexy vocal delivery Caitlin Park brings to this, and also the eerie and cinematic Lena Vs the Ice Monster, another song with its sparse voicing all too soon punctured by punchy piano lines, slicing fretwork and squealing Casios.

Although it would be safe to say the bulk of the album’s weight lies in dance – notably the more up-tempo contenders like the chorus-clever The Road ( which takes out time from it’s Electro-like assault to spoof up a line from Elton’s My Song) and the record’s speedier title track, caked in clanking percussion and thick harmonies – Wait for Night still fights it’s corner for some rock recognition. Which of course is duly awarded, more so, towards the album’s final moments and for the stunning Wilson’s Journal, the Peter Gabriel-like vocal play of The Ghost of Bob Young, and maybe the album’s biggest draw, the lengthy, luscious ballad A, which finds this Analogue Kid laid bare, at his most serene , and stealing this show without the aid of any prize production values or intricate instrumentation, just some woeful words “I try to break free but it just will not stop, the feeling that this could be all that I’ve got” and a parting sound of a band that still have their best to give.

Wait for Night is a jumbled journal of what eventually exposes themselves as poignant pop songs , songs that evolve with every spin and most remarkably, fight to flip the typical traits and often transparent subject matters of the modern singer songwriter upside down.

Mark Youll

Wait for Night is available to order from

www.lastoftheanaloguekids.com