The buzz for New Build has been high since the announcement last year that the group was forming with players from two of indie music’s biggest dance-rock outfits, Hot Chip and the defunct LCD Soundsystem.
At the Mercury Lounge on March 13, frontman Al Doyle offered a superfluous introduction -- “We are New Build from London, England” -- before the septet opened with “Mercy,” from the debut album “Yesterday Was Lived and Lost,” out April 17th.
The crowd warmed up quickly, given that many were unfamiliar with the music. The tunes had been previously available only on the group’s website and two limited 12” releases. Amid airy guitar notes, tepid drumming and scattered synth, some infectious cowbell stirred things up.
For “Finding Reasons,” Felix Martin, a member of Hot Chip, and DJ/producer Tom Hopkins -- who along with Doyle make up the band’s core -- manned the keys. Hornlike effects were soon matched with Doyle’s grinding guitar solo. The short and poppy “Medication” had Ben Ubly’s rattling bass and bright vocals by Joy Leah Joseph.
“Schism of the Mind” was a rubbery, slippery track for which Doyle, who plays with both Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem, put down his guitar and joined Martin and Hopkins on synths and drum machines. Then the next number turned the floor into a trampoline.
It was the album’s driving first single -- “Do You Not Feel Loved?” -- that made the dance party come alive. The pulsating number was so good that Doyle jokingly said at its conclusion, “I suggest we play that again.”
The energy remained at a high as a blend of cowbell and calypso-sounding keys brought in the jumpy “Behind The Shutter.”
Probably the one song that best reflects the two bands’ combined DNA was the set’s closer, “Misery Loves Company.” The twitching bass and wavy melody had chunks of cowbells, an etching guitar rift and a joyful chorus that captured the essence for the night -- smiles all around.
At the moment, New Build has no U.S. tour dates scheduled. Hot Chip has announced that its fifth album, “In Our Heads,” will be released on June 12. The supporting worldwide summer tour stops at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Bandshell on July 18.
A documentary of LCD Soundsystem’s final days called “Shut Up and Play the Hits” is scheduled for limited release in the June-September period.
Here’s a selection of New York-area shows in April. Please note that opening bands aren’t always listed. Shows marked (SO) are sold out, although online services such as Craigslist often have tickets.
April 3 SBTRKT/Willis Earl Beal/Sepalcure at Webster Hall (SO) April 4 Wild Yaks/Fenster/Daytona at Knitting Factory April 5 Screaming Females at Maxwell’s April 6 Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band at Madison Square Garden (SO) April 7 The Rapture at Music Hall of Williamsburg (SO) April 8 The War on Drugs/Sleepy Sun at Bowery Ballroom (SO) April 9 The Horrors/The Night Beats at Music Hall of Williamsburg April 10 Yukon Blonde/Library Voices at Pianos April 11 Howler/1,2,3 at Mercury Lounge (Early Show) Pulp at Radio City Music Hall April 12 Alabama Shakes at Music Hall of Williamsburg (SO) April 13 White Denim at Bowery Ballroom (two shows) April 14 Furthur at Beacon Theater (SO) April 15 Kraftwerk at the Museum of Modern Art (SO) April 16 Bad Veins at Mercury Lounge April 17 Modeselektor at Music Hall of Williamsburg April 18 Eleanor Friedberger/Hospitality at Bell House April 19 Lambchop at Le Poisson Rouge April 20 Lucero/J Roddy Walston & The Business at Webster Hall April 21 The Greyboy Allstars at Brooklyn Bowl April 22 Washed Out/Memoryhouse at Highline Ballroom (SO) April 23 The Big Pink at Bowery Ballroom April 24 Gauntlet Hair/Field Mice at Glasslands April 25 Nick Lowe & His Band at Town Hall April 26 Here We Go Magic at Knitting Factory April 27 Cold Cave at Guggenheim Museum April 28 Hanni El Khatib at Mercury Lounge (Late Show) April 29 Archers of Loaf/Titus Andronicus at Music Hall of Williamsburg April 30 The Shins at Terminal 5
(Jaime Widder works in sales for Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are his own.)
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