I thought it would be appropriate to review the long awaited followup to 2008′s Apocalypso, Pacifica – the newest album from Australian dance kings, The Presets, and damn, is it incredible.
Although super-underrated in the United States, the Aussie duo is amongst electro royalty in their home country as they’ve toured with Daft Punk and will be headlining the upcoming Australia-wide touring festival, Parklife. To get an idea of their influence down under, they are the top-billed artist at Parklife, above the likes of Passion Pit, Nero (Live), Robyn, and Justice (DJ set).
Pacifica, the duo’s fourth full-length out on September 7th via Modular Records, has them creating the perfect blend of electronic and rock music. Lead singer Julian Hamilton’s deep vocals are much more rock-oriented, while he and Kim Moyes take over trance and electro-tinged production duties. The album takes The Presets in a slightly new direction as it’s production caters more towards the mainstream EDM niche as opposed to the DFA Records-inspired brand of electro/rock found on their previous three albums. While LCD Soundsystem has perfected the electronic/rock approach, these guys take it further and emphasizes house music above all. Though James Murphy & co. are highly revered, these guys do a pretty good job at giving electronic rock hybrid-approach a fresh spin. What makes this album so unique is that fact that it pairs that kind of EDM with elements of rock music, which isn’t really found… anywhere.
Pacifica is indeed the ideal soundtrack to an all-night rager. This party begins with the album’s first single, “Youth In Trouble”, and, besides the fact that the title goes along very well with my party illustration, the track itself could be a contender for the year’s danciest, sing-along appropriate song. The pre-party is exemplified by “Ghosts” - an epic, forward-moving, almost acapella track that seems to be building up to something, which is where “Promises” comes in. I consider “Promises” the ideal pop song as it’s got one of the catchiest hooks on the album paired with some really infectious synths. After the initial party entry, you head over to the dance floor, exemplified by the euphoric, trance-driven “Fall”. Then the true baby-making music with tracks like the bleepy, minimal “Surrender” and the super sexy “Adults Only” that procures an image fitting with it’s namesake. Keeping up with fitting titles, the album closes with the epic “Fail Epic”, a more ballad-y number with minimal accompaniment and ethereal production that could perhaps illustrate coming down from a night of epic proportions.