Confidence Man: TILT (Heavenly) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Confidence Man



Apr 12, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Brisbane, Australia-based Confidence Man may have begun life as a slightly tongue-in-cheek side project but their hyperactive day-glo take on electronic dance-pop certainly found its mark. The collective made up of the masked duo of Clarence McGuffie and Reggie Goodchild and fronted by the incongruously named Janet Planet and Sugar Bones were all staples of the rather more serious Brisbane psych scene at some point (see The Belligerents, Moses Gunn Collective, and The Jungle Giants). But Confidence Man took off in a way that they could never have initially anticipated and they were soon snapped up by legendary UK label Heavenly Recordings. Then followed an Andrew Weatherall remix of their single “Bubblegum” and then their 2018 debut, Confident Music For Confident People, arrived, garnering wall to wall praise for its sophisticated, albeit slightly bonkers take on dance-pop.

But can lightning strike twice? Well, their follow-up album TILT is another hyperactive swirl of color, energy, and attitude, a veritable sugar rush of inyour face fun. However, this time the band don’t ‌attempt to replicate their debut, instead they go full pelt at ’90s dance music, combining a self-aware sense of the overblown with some blistering house and big beat tracks. TILT proves that whilst they still don’t take themselves too seriously, they are deadly serious about getting you onto the dancefloor to shake your butt.

Previous single, the feminist piano-led dance anthem “Woman,” which was released on International Women’s Day, opens proceedings in style. It’s followed by the blistering “Feels Like a Different Thing,” a tune the band have described as “two lyrics, one riff, no fuss. It’ll get your blood pumping.” And it does exactly that, combining old school house, disco, and gospel that grabs you by your lapels and hurtles you around the dancefloor at breakneck speed. The addictive “What I Like” sounds like something The B-52s might have produced had they formed in the ’90s, whilst “Luvin U Is Easy” is as silky as it is smooth and highlights what a genuinely soulful voice Planet has. Elsewhere, “Holiday” is pure escapist euphoria with nods to Madonna, that goes beyond the obvious title link. “Push It Up” slows the pace down slightly and at times could be Saint Etienne colliding with Bananarama. The album closer, “Relieve the Pressure,” manages to simultaneously sound like a comedown and a takeoff. Despite the knowing elements of ’90s pastiche, TILT does feel like the old school dance music template has been injected with a new sense of energy and fun.

At its heart, TILT is an intentionally joyous, escapist experience and even with the band’s proclivity for OTT campiness, they also prove that fun doesn’t have to be dumb. As Confidence Man might put it, if this doesn’t get you on the dancefloor, then “move aside and let others enjoy the ride.” (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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