Album Review: Cut Copy – Zonoscope

Remember 2008? How awesome it all was when Cut Copy was the coolest thing around with their In Ghost Colours? Remember that sax solo? How nobody, nobody thought it was cheesy? And the way they used female vocals? Pure genius! Well, this is 2011 and the Australian trio is back with what should be, I’m guessing, a slight departure from the New Order-scented, French house-loving electro rock. Truth be said, Zonoscope tries something new and Cut Copy clearly want to evolve.

And, as the Lord is my witness, I wanted to give them a chance. I played the album, once, twice, maybe it’s me, maybe this is an album that needs repeated plays. I was wrong. It’s the kind of album that makes you wonder what were they thinking. Sure, it tries to experiment more, to go outside the whole electro rock shtick. They use atmospheric music, bleeps and bits of psychedelia, tambourines, Kasabian-like wooo-hooos, drums that sound like Be My Baby. They even go for something that I’m going to call Aussie Madchester.

But then again, Zonoscope is them still desperately wanting to be the kings of that very electro rock, the one with the triangles and disco hints. They take bits from LCD Soundsystem (Blink And You’ll Miss A Revolution starts of just like Get Innocuous, which I find more then mildly annoying). They even do the spoken words bits James Murphy loves so much. . They do try and shake things a bit by adding more tribal bits, just that Friendly Fires are doing it much, much better.

Sure, I could tell you the faults of each song. Or I could just point out that Sun God, the last track, is the perfect embodiment of all that’s wrong with Zonoscope. It uses spoken words, beats that sound like something off one of Murphy’s albums, a Charlatans vibe and an awkward moment when you just end you asking yourself when did Friendly Fires’ On Board started playing. And all just in the first 3 minutes. Too much is an understatement.

Bottom line is that Zonoscope is just plain chaotic and confusing and, despite wanting to be a step forward, it’s just a step backwards. So, who’s taking out the time machine for a trip to ’08?