Rock instrumentals are more than just a song without vocals, and it takes a truly good band to pull them off without the listener getting bored. Those who fall in the dance music realm probably have an easier time of it than “rock” bands, a wider sonic palate at their command, though are probably hindered a bit in the live realm. Or maybe not. If everyone’s dancing hopefully they’re not worried whether the band is actually doing anything onstage or not.
Anyway, Ratatat are pretty good at it. Their new album, LP3, is a lot of fun. I can’t tell whether it’s guitars or keyboards but the twin harmony leads are very Queen, to the point where when I listen to it I’m always thinking of the Flash Gordon soundtrack, especially on the single “Mirando”:
If you’re already down with Ratatat, I highly recommend Glaswegian quartet Errors, who are part Kraftwerk and part Mogwai. (They’re signed to the latter’s Rock Action label.) Maybe a little Boards of Canada in there too. Dreamy, intense, and groovy, their debut album, It’s Not Something but it Is Like Whatever, makes a great soundtrack to walking around the city, or driving, or cleaning the apartment.
Here’s a couple MP3s, one from …Like Whatever and one from last year’s How Clean is Your Acid House EP:
The Ratatat record actually reminds me a lot of forgotten but awesome bubbleglam group The RAH Band, which really wasn’t a band really, just the acronymous pseudonym for British producer Richard Anthony Hewson who scored a few UK and Australian hits in the ’70s and ’80s. These two are pretty great:
The Top of the Pops performance of “The Crunch” is not to be missed:
And a couple more relevant YouTube videos after the jump:
Ratatat – “Mirando”
Errors – “Salut France”
The RAH Band – “The Crunch”