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Alt-j, An Awesome Wave (Infectious Records) *****
THIS looked so pretentious. The group’s name is a triangle symbol, what alt-J on the computer keyboard produces.
In one song there’s an exhortation to “let’s tessellate” – hardly in the rock realms of “let me entertain you”, “let the good times roll”, or even “let it be”. But just block out feelings of pretension – this is an album worth listening to again and again and again because of the rewards it yields.
More cinematic than 3D and lyrically beguiling, menacing, and captivating, this could be the album of 2012. Big claims? Yes, but what an immense sound drenched in experimentation and carried off with hyper confidence. Echoes of Talking Heads, TV On The Radio, Sparks, Portishead and Massive Attack abound but in a bubbling dub-step, trip-hop cauldron of Alt-j’s own innovation.
Of the 13 tracks, two are delicate and short instrumentals, there’s not a single one to diss. Bliss.