East India Youth: Culture of Volume (XL) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, November 24th, 2020  

East India Youth

Culture of Volume

XL

Apr 06, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


"Glitter Recession" was the name of the opening song on East India Youth's 2014-released debut LP, Total Strife Forever. Now, two full-length albums and an EP into his career, it seems that William Doyle, the man behind the London Docklands-themed name, was actually giving us a description of his sound.

Perhaps a touch more euphoric than the previous record, Culture of Volume sparkles and shimmers throughout, while keeping the listener at arm's length. Doyle, who sings on far more tracks here than on Total Strife Forever, sounds supremely confident and it lends an air of cool aloofness to the album; while the songs may be warmer, their creator sounds like someone who knows that they're damn good.

If there isn't necessarily a shift in influences on Culture of Volume, then certainly greater emphasis appears to have been placed on synth-based electropop; the lead single, "Carousel," as dreamy as anything you'll hear this decade, is positively New Wave. While Total Strife Forever echoed the works of electronic composers such as Phillip Glass and Jean-Michele Jarre, this record is closer to the more ambitious end of Pet Shop Boys' oeuvre. The highlights include "Beaming White," which sounds like Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe taking on The National's "Conversation 16," and the urgent 10-minute opus "Manner of Words."

The sense of assuredness around the album is enhanced by its better sense of direction than its predecessor. While Total Strife Forever expertly blended a wide variety of genres, Culture of Volume feels more cohesive, less erratic. Whether or not this is a good thing depends on how difficult you found the earlier effort; for many, its skittishness was part of the charm, for others it was distancing. No such divisions will be present on this organic, flowing, soothing follow-up. (www.eastindiayouth.co.uk)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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