This is a review of "Untitled" recorded by Team Modeliste. The review was written by Jessica Thornsby in 2009.
Team Modeliste's demo is four tracks of funk rock that'd go down a storm at those trendy indie nightclubs where they're more likely to play Gossip and The Ting Tings, than Oasis and Blur. And, although you can easily imagine these songs getting picked up by Radio One and being overplayed until you can't stand to hear them anymore, as it stands now, they're perfect alt-pop gems.
Album highlight is the twisted indie disco of 'Manila.' Its shamelessly camp chorus of "oh, manila! / you got me / hey, manila! / like that!" spiked with yelps and falsetto warbles, may be a little too slick, but you can overlook that fact, because it's just so damned catchy. The lazily undulating guitars and droned vocals of the verses are guaranteed to lull you into a blissed-out stupor, while the snappy drumbeats will get you twitching along. A heady, pleasant funk that's pretty much irresistible.
EP-opener 'Pirate' has a chorus made for the indie-club scene. A sleazy, crackly fug of reverberating guitars and droned, stoner vocals ensures you absolutely won't be able to get this one out of your head. This piece of trippy, alt-pop perfection is topped off with some scratchy, crackly surface riffs and a pre-chorus bit of shunting guitar-picking. Together, they give 'Pirate' just the right amount of edge. If there's one Team Modeliste song that could withstand being overplayed, it's this.
The camp pop stomp of 'The Drums Are Sex' is built on a winding, sleazy bass line spiked with hand-clapping sound effects. Frontman Ben Francis, and guitarist and backing vocalist Ross McOwen's falsetto-edged dual-warble really does sound like something off a Scissor Sisters record. Even better, they're singing absolute nonsense ("I don't know what I'm talking about / but the drums are sex.") which goes someway to compensating for the lack of fuzzed-up guitars ala 'Pirate.' Towards the end, 'The Drums Are Sex' is in danger of losing the listener, as it relies too heavily on the listener tripping out to the vocals and, after numerous repeats, those vocals begin to lose some of their power to hypnotise. The first two minutes are scuzzy, heady pop at its finest, though.
'Spangle Up' has a darker tinge than the rest of this EP, periodically breaking off for a steady, brooding bass pulse overlaid with twisted voiceovers. It'll initially leave you unsure, but by the end of the song you'll see it as a great counterpoint to the rest of 'Spangle Up's funky indie-dance. Beyond that bass pulse, 'Spangle Up' is all bone-popping beats and angular guitars, shot through with hazy vocals that wind lazily through the song, carrying with it more of Team Modeliste's wonderfully no-brainer lyrics.
This demo is scarily infectious. Just one listen, and the vocals will be hanging around in your head for days. Thankfully, Team Modeliste stop just short of being irritating, and it'll be a pleasure having Francis and McOwen warbling and falsettoing away inside your skull. Languid, pop-infused goodness that's destined to fill club dance floors.