Issue May 20, 2009


Micachu and the Shapes
Rough Trade

When Jewellery was bestowed upon me, I immediately Googled Micachu to find out if it was a Pokemon (is not) or these so-called Shapes had anything to do with Shapes and Sizes, The Shapes, MisShapes, or any other shape-related things with which I was familiar (does not). Initial confusion aside, this sort of "have I heard this before" feeling permeates the listening experience. At every turn, I was left wondering if this hook had been taken from a Yeah Yeah Yeahs castoff, a never-released Stereo Totale song, or even some wholly forgotten, no-wave Sonic Youth thing. It’s a poorly organized mass of sounds and influences that is sometimes a little bit catchy (“Calculator”) and sometimes a huge disaster (“Ship”). You can see what they were trying to do with the glass breaking/car horn/vacuum cleaner sound effects, but when you use an iPhone to do your mixing, some of the meaning gets lost. At its most basic level, there is potential, but in the meantime, I can’t see any situation arising in which I would put this record on.