These guys recently put out a really disappointing full-length, so I thought I'd hype up their earlier EP so people don't get the wrong idea about Out Hud. I got this EP, !!!'s, and the Rapture's Echoes all in the same month and I think this one is my favorite. I didn't hold onto the Rapture for very long (all right.. but incredibly overrated), and !!! had some hot songs but their horn section really killed my buzz when it came in almost every time. In case you aren't familiar with any of these bands, they all fall very loosely under the very vague descriptor "Dancepunk." Don't look at me like that, I didn't come up with it. Basically it has nothing to do with Punk and isn't usually very good to dance to, but these bands and others combine dancefloor-type beats with groove-based, chunky guitar among other instruments. DFA is the foremost provider of this type of stuff, not to pigeonhole an entire label, but basically it's a newly popular (not to say new) form of music that occasionally puts out some real gems, like this one.
Out Hud combines synth, dance beat, bass and guitar in a sort of instrumental funky jam way. There's a lot of echo and reverb, a lot of foot-tapping, and a pretty unique sound all over. It's not often you hear a caustic guitar solo/funk riff loop segue into a secret agent infiltration theme and moog rockout, all backed by a steady dance beat - as you do on the second track here. The first track actually combines strings with a slow, groovy beat, growing into a sort of trancelike state (like hypnotic trance, not "TRANCE!") Track 4 has some badass violinist rocking against a funk guitar and ever-changing beat, and some really frenzied moments - it may be my favorite. I'm not sure they knew how to end it, though. The 12-minute "L-Train" may be a little to long for the amount of variation contained within, but it still entertains and changes enough to be plenty interesting. Closer "My Two Nads" doesn't do anything to break the mold, but provides more of the excellent stuff you want more of.
This is a good place to begin if you are unfamiliar with any dancepunk stuff. The Rapture is a bit too... something... for me, and !!! has moments of brilliance but occasionally shoots itself in the foot (especially with the lyrics), though perhaps LCD Soundsystem's new album is another good entry point. In any case, this EP deserves a spot on your CD shelf.
Here's "Hair dude, you're stepping on my mystique," by Out Hud. From S.T.R.E.E.T. D.A.D. - no, I don't know what it means, or stands for, if anything.