DFA/Mercury – 2003 - 47 minutes

Disco-punk, punk-funk, death disco, who knows what it's called? Who knows if it even exists? Sub-genres come and go with increasing rapidity, sometimes with shorter shelf-lives than TV talent show winners.

This latest confluence of electronic beats, shattered guitars and early 80s stylistic flourishes comes courtesy of Tim Goldsworthy, the man who enabled David Holmes' 'Let's Get Killed'.

Goldsworthy (as production outfit Death From Above) is the mysterious 'fifth Rapture' who has lifted the band from semi-obscurity to being Manhattan's hottest musical property.

The immediate dancefloor impact of the cowbell-driven single 'House of Jealous Lovers', and a formidable hype machine has created a serious sense of anticipation around 'Echoes'.

In the end, it's an anti-climax, but an often enjoyable one.

The sound veers from pure PIL/Talking Heads revivalism on 'Echoes' and 'Heaven' through to an often brilliant fusion of early house music and classic indie rock on the stunning 'Olio' and 'I Need Your Love'. There are even a couple of maudlin, pleasant ballads that showcase a penchant for late Velvets/early Lou Reed druggy sentimentality.

Luke Jenner's vocals make The Rapture instantly recognisable, a castrated yelp that's half-David Byrne half-John Lydon. Sometimes it works, sometimes its very annoying.

If you got a time machine to travel back to the aftermath of Ian Curtis' death, the sound of raincoat-wearers Joy Division turning into electronic funkateers New Order would be something like 'Echoes'.

It's not original, but it's a compelling dark journey back into the early 80s that still manages to sound modern. Not really rapture, but it occasionally comes close.

Luke McManus

Tracklisting: Olio - Heaven - Open Up Your Heart - I Need Your Love - The Coming Of Spring - House of Jealous Lovers - Echoes - Killing - Sister Saviour - Love Is All - Infatuation