New wave is a good look for Cut Copy. On their newest album, Zonoscope, the Australian band casts aside any rock tendencies they may have had on their previous releases in favor of some old fashioned dance tunes. The album opener “Need You Now” best represents the band’s slightly changed sound: gone are the guitars for the most part, and in are even more synths. The result is an album that feels timely: the tracks will make you get up and dance away the cold, torturous winter.
The highlight on the album is the 15-minute closer, “Sun God”, a track so varied that it almost defies description. Traversing through 80s-style riffs before settling into a very TRON-esque pounding beat, the track closes the album as much as it invites you to listen again. One can just see the club remixes that will sprout, trimming down the excess (and there is some, to be sure) into a banger of a track.
While the rest of the album fails to live up to the ambition and sheer balls of the closer, the other tracks shine on their own merit. The climax of the album is the wonderfully melodic; “Pharaohs and Pyramids”, which also displays singer Dan Whitford surprisingly emotive singing. Also of note is the otherworldly “Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat”, which sounds like the best Discovery song Daft Punk never wrote.
That’s perhaps the best compliment to give Zonoscope: it’s Daft Punk before they really went all robotic on us. There’s a humanity to the dance tunes that truly resonates, even when the vocal track is layered behind pounds and pounds of synths. It works because one never forgets that Cut Copy are just a bunch of Australian dudes, making music to move to. No robot masks required here.
Written by Luis Paez-Pumar