Django Django, Django Django
A screwball, percussive brace of words with madcap-yet-taut music
How inspired they are by their jazz guitarist namesake is up for debate, but Django Django’s name suits them – a screwball, percussive brace of words that matches their madcap-yet-taut music. First emerging a couple of years ago with the loping stomp of the first single “Storm,” the group slipped into a fine tradition of psychedelic English eccentrics from Syd Barrett to The Beta Band – the brother of drummer and producer Dave Maclean used to play with the latter.
And it’s to those oddballs that Django Django can perhaps be most closely compared: Like the Beta Band, they are as comfortable with acoustic guitar strumming as with electronic explorations and Afro-Caribbean rhythms. You can also hear the rambunctiousness of the Coral, and Hot Chip’s moments of clown-car wackiness.
The undertow that draws these potentially disparate elements along is a brilliant rockabilly twang, particularly on “Wor.” The calm, star-gazing lead vocals of Vinny Neff, enriched with close harmonies, are another distinctive layer. Neff has a way with unexpected melodic flourishes that can enliven potentially generic moments, such as the meat-and-potatoes blues-rock bass line of “Default.”
The tempo ranges from peppy to frantic, and that constant rubbery energy might exhaust some listeners. But once again, you know what you’re getting from the band name onwards – amid its clashing consonants and playful vowels, you can hear the vigour and seductive brio that is the kernel of this group.