October 30, 2003

Test Spin: The Rapture

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Remember last year when the Vines were on the cover of Rolling Stone, with Craig Nicholls doing his best Quasimodo impression? If you do, it’s probably because you couldn’t stand them and are still angry about it. If you don’t recall this landmark moment in rock journalism, it’s most likely because you forgot about the Vines completely, like everybody else.

The whole garage rock thing started gaining momentum in 2001, but last year it peaked, and now it’s on the way out. Sure, the Strokes and White Stripes are still popular, but the trend itself has worn out its welcome, just like the Vines.

This year, the big buzzgenre at its apex is dance-punk. In my opinion, the output has been far more consistent. Last year, there was Hot Hot Heat and Liars, this year, !!!, Out Hud, and more. As good those bands have been, I say that The Rapture tops them all.

The story has been told quite a few times about how Echoes was finished last year, but remained unreleased due to label issues. Even though some of these songs aren’t necessarily new, the finished product is, and it’s terrific.

The hits just keep on coming with “House of Jealous Lovers,” “The Coming of Spring,” and more. Luke Jenner’s vocals come flying out of the speakers, and I shouldn’t have to tell you that Matt Safer’s bass playing is spectacular. The best advice I can give you is to just listen for yourself.

Archived article by Ross McGowan