Album Review: Django Django

12 April 2012 | 5:09 pm | Mac McNaughton

"...enjoy the company of new friends you feel you’ve known for years..."

More Django Django More Django Django

I'm in complete denial. You know, the kind that makes certain dickheads believe the holocaust didn't happen, or Snow Patrol think their music matters? I just can't get my head around that Django Django's debut album isn't the glorious return of The Beta Band. The biography may credit some young upstart called Vincent Neff as the singer, but all I hear are the brighter moods of Steve Mason being carried by bedsitting arms. What's more, Django's frontman David MacLean (operating from the drumstool) is the brother of John, keyboardist for The Beta Band. Surely that tenuous link shouldn't provoke such massive sonic overlap…should it? It's all good though. Fear not the hijacking of another band's glories – Django Django sounds like a grand comeback, not a hackneyed rehash.

Dripping in a shiny gloss that binds '60s folkiness with '80s day-glo poppery, the desert artwork and initial psych-pop sounds suggest more kinship with Yeasayer. Traveling beyond the stunning opening gambit of Hail Bop, Default and Firewater, Mason's... I mean Neff's 'just woken from Stonersville' vocals are harmoniously happy. And this peppy tone is what I have to cling to if I'm to be convinced that they're not who I think they are. Zumm Zumm's spunky walrus-waddling hook would make any three-year-old dance and giggle. The second half gets a little more psych-rock and serious, losing just a smidge of the traction gained, but it's no less loveable.

Surely with so many Beta comparisons, the next album would be wise to divert wildly into pastures new. It could be mighty or disastrous. But for now, enjoy the company of new friends you feel you've known for years; they're called Django Django.