The A-side ‘Buzzer Says Werner’ is a somewhat driving banger, but the B-side ‘Cardinal Rules’ isn’t really something that sets my dancefloor on fire. The sound of both tracks is a merge of old school analogue sounds and new school digital processing, with the mix of ‘Buzzer says Werner’ on the single apparently an exclusive live version. Opening purposefully with a relentlessly overlapping chain of phasing pulses, it sounds a little like Riley Reinhold’s new 12”, but more obvious and heavier. It's muscular stuff that produces a certain psychedelic force, but there seems to be something a little stiff about the rest of the sound. I'm not sure what it is - it's as if the production is a little heavy handed, or the bass a little uptight perhaps? The police sirens are a nice touch as are the two or three breakdowns from which the track seems to return a little more wired and relentless, but still, not even the analogue warmth can thaw its frozen joints.
Similarly, ‘Cardinal Rules’ doesn’t particularly do anything different enough to deserve such fuss. I can’t help but picture a video game and little psychedelic spaceships shooting Galaxians in a whirlpool of pixelated space. More stripped back than the A, ‘Cardinal Rules’ lacks a little sonic depth, which you only actually notice when an arpeggio of effervescent chimes runs through the track, doing more or less the same work as the more effective police sirens on the A-side. Danceable, perhaps, but much further down the scale of interest than the A.
Maybe with all the hype surrounding the single I was expecting something a little more liberating or novel? ‘Buzzer…’ is no dud, but because of the stiffness it seems to work more by heavy coercion than by luscious temptation. Still, this twelve is a taster for a debut album due out soon on Front Room, so perhaps there will be more fuss to come. Time will tell.