Release Date: 05.06.08
For those of us that were saddened by the breakup of DC's Supersystem in late 2006 (spawned from other DC band El Guapo), please rejoice in Shy Child's latest album Noise Won't Stop (Kill Rock Stars). This fantastic twosome consists of Pete Cafarella and Nate Smith, former keyboardist and drummer of Supersystem. The yelly vocals, hard electro drums beating into your brain, and constant 80's futuristic keyboard noises are all very reminiscent of their former band.
This New York duo released albums and gained popularity in Japan, Europe and Australia, opened for BjÃ¶rk, the Klaxons and Muse, and now dance floors across the nation can recognize Shy Child with Noise Won't Stop. One cannot read anything about Shy Child without a mention of Cafarella's keytar. (That will be the only reference to that instrument in this whole review. You're welcome.)
Shy Child's sound is an amalgam of punk, disco, rave beats and heavy 80's new wave. The majority of the tunes pump aggressively through your being. Starting strong with "Drop the Phone" and "Pressure to Come," two songs that thump-start our way into Noise Won't Stop, with their catchy, syncopated rhythms and hand claps, yet it almost sounds like the same spastic song. There seems to be a continuing theme of repetition in this album, of course, that's due to its electronic nature. What's electronic without its constant pounding repetitive hook? "Kick Drum" is a good example of this monotony. The beat is carried by familiar synthetic clap with a constant keyboard rhythm, so droning that you barely notice Spank Rock is featured in this song.
A few of the songs do titillate the ears, like "The Volume" which has a 70's space future kick, filled to the brim with keyboard breaks. In the midst of those breaks and choppy beats, is the ever melodic "Angel of Mercy" where I want to believe that Cafarella sings about a be-all end-all relationship; "No one came before us/ No one is coming after us/ The passing of time can't stop us/ No angel of mercy with sing for us." Unlike a lot of indie-electro these days, Shy Child's lyrics have some content to them. Whether it be the "Murder Capital" which is about people living in a volatile world hiding behind rock-rave mask, or "What's It Feel Like" which gives the record a little rest from the punchy beats. It's a track that brings the album down a bit, but isn't out of place or uncharacteristic with its major lack of synths.
It really is an enjoyably fun record, especially if you are one to enjoy Test Icicles, The Rapture and Shout Out Out Out. A lot of the sound has the influence of producer Paul Epworth, who has produced The Rapture, as well as The Futureheads, Bloc Party, Simian Mobile Disco, and DFA 1979. To put it plainly, Shy Child wants you to dance. Noise Won't Stop is definitely an album that is meant to be listened to with the speakers cranked.