Rahim | Ideal Lives (Frenchkiss)

Rahim display a greater technical ability, often falling closer to no wave than new wave

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Ideal Lives, Rahim’s first full-length, arrives like an annotated footnote of lean, East Coast post-punk. As tightly wound as any of its predecessors, the band’s chemistry and control is in full swing from the start on “KlangKlangKlang,” which throws in a horn section to disprove those who come in thinking history is beginning to repeat. Ideal Lives takes more risks than any of their early singles and pushes past the well-received EP Jungles. More restrained than British peers the Futureheads and the Go! Team, Rahim display a greater technical ability, often falling closer to no wave than new wave. Standout track “Forever Love” sounds surprisingly like the gossamer pop of Rogue Wave and the Shins, with drummer Philip Sutton left to do his best to retain the punk immediacy of the rest of the band’s catalogue. Sutton shines throughout, anchoring the band on a bed of shifting time signatures and stuttering rhythms. The album is weighed down by the elliptically political and often awkward lyrics, but its instrumental strength will surely secure the band wide-ranging acclaim.

 

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