Micachu & the Shapes – Never LP

The Basics
Known for their staggering creativity and penchant for home-made instruments, Micachu & the Shapes self-produced second studio album comes three years after the release of their debut, 'Jewellery'. In the meantime the band have released a live album whilst Micachu has been filling her time as an artist-in-residence at London’s Southbank Centre –the youngest individual musician to be granted the role.
The Verdict
A capricious wonderland of a record; you could call it pop, but pop that’s been thrown in a furnace, melted down and been mangled, twisted and distorted into the most improbable of forms.
‘Easy’ is for anyone who ever wanted to dance in a riot, ‘Waste’ scuttles along, simultaneously sinister and mesmerising – a danger that you just can’t resist; the title track, in the meantime, is what I imagine it would be like listening to your iPod while strapped to the top of a train. The balladesque ‘Nothing’, rather than brood, is instead performed in a hallucinatory, dream-like state. It almost deceives you into believing it to be sugar-sweet but, as with the rest of the album, there is a darkness that lingers, notable in the bands contemptuous delivery of the line “take your pity and your sympathy, because there is nothing wrong with me.”
This contrasts notably with the frenetic album closer, ‘Nowhere’, which is electro-punk at 100mph, occasionally sounding like it’s being channelled through a Nintendo with the rush enhanced by intermingled shouts and hedonistic pants.
The variety on ‘Never’ makes it invaluable, the invention – captivating. For sheer originality and quality, it is unrivalled.

Words by Lewis Parker.
‘Never’ is released on July 23rd.

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