Where to begin with these guys? Possibly the most exciting live act going – equal parts The Who, Sonic Youth, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and a bunch of other groups who are great live – DTCV has found it difficult to distill the chaos of their stage show into a coherent studio recording. Until now.
In the wake of their cinemascope epic Hilarious Heaven (the double-vinyl package of which is due to be released – finally! – by Dead Meadow’s Xemu Records sometime in April), it’s only natural that the Joshua Tree-based duo – pronounced Detective, for inscrutable reasons – would attempt something more focused than that sprawling, prog-punk marathon for their follow-up.
The third full-length LP in the band’s brief existence (not including EPs, singles, compilations, and karaoke parties), Uptime! finds the French-American post-whatever combo sharpening their claws on a relentless sequence of concise, hook-laden, buzzsaw-guitar-drenched power pop songs that owe as much to Debbie Harry as to Wire (it’s no accident that DTCV covered Blondie’s “In the Sun” on a recent 7″). Moreover, Uptime!’s lite-brite incandescence masks a seriousness of intent and a work ethic that would put Jack White to shame if he weren’t a robot incapable of human feeling. “Miley Cyrus Wins the Race” is the second single off the forthcoming release which originally premiered via Brooklyn Vegan and follows the premiere first video single, “X Water.” Now, see the latest music video for “Radio Drive” here.
Frontperson Guylaine Vivarat (AKA Vivarock), who writes and sings and plays guitar and bass and keyboards on the majority of the band’s songs, is a native of a small village in the French alps, which is sort of like being a native of a small village in Colorado, except French. Having traded the redneck paradise of her hometown for the cultural inferno of the West Coast (after a brief stop at the Sorbonne to complete an advanced degree in international politics), she brings a uniquely continental and neo-anarchist perspective to DTCV’s primary-color noise. On “Miley Cyrus Wins the Race,” for example, she takes familiar 60s girl-group tropes and twists them into something altogether darker and more cathartic, alternately celebrating/damning past demons in the name of rebellious post-teens everywhere.
Guitarist James Greer (AKA Fiat Lux) adds his own mostly lit-and-cinema inspired influences – he’s published two novels and written movies for Lindsay Lohan, Jackie Chan, Benicio del Toro, and Steven Soderbergh, to drop a ripe bunch of heavy grapes in your lap – to his coupla-three contributions, e.g. the Nabokov-and-Cronenberg referencing “Invitation to a Beheading,” at the end of which he pits himself against himself in a two-minute shredding contest. Just, you know, because. A battery of drummers (this is a better joke in French) rounds out the Uptime! sound, but if you don’t get it by now, friends, odds are you never will, and that would be a shame. Any band that includes a Sabbath-heavy anthem called “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Song” on the same record as an acoustic ballad with choir called “California Girl” (wherein “Hope I don’t fuck everything up” is the salient lyric) and makes it work has just changed music forever. Or something like that. Wake up and smell the biochemicals.
2. X Water
3. Early Alone
4. Don’t Be Stupid
5. Miley Cyrus Wins The Race
6. Bay of Pigs
7. It’s a Stealer
8. Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Induction Song
9. Invitation to a Beheading
10. Last Lonely Man
11. California Girl
12. Radio Drive