Late of the Pier: “Space and the Woods”

Mai 2nd, 2008 by admin

Upon the original release of “Space and the Woods” as Late of the Pier’s debut single in early 2007, I passed it off as nothing more than a directionless mess from a band making a last-ditch effort to throw their hat into the ring of the rapidly-fading “new rave” craze. It was too schizophrenic, too derivative – Klaxons already did the whole science-fiction thing and I’m pretty sure Gary Numan’s got a copyright on those synths – and too cloying, that glorious 80’s synth riff the only thing worth even considering writing home about. But here we are one year on, with new rave six feet under and Late of the Pier’s Erol Alkan-produced debut album the subject of white-hot anticipation around town. On the strength of subsequent singles “Bathroom Gurgle” and “Bears Are Coming” and an epic performance opening for Justice last Valentine’s Day, it seems Late of the Pier have actually made a believer in me. Their schizophrenic song structures have actually become one of their major selling points, setting them apart from their by-the-book contemporaries, and between his work with Late of the Pier and his LA Priest side project, frontman Sam Prest is slowly establishing himself as one of brightest talents in all of England.

Now here we are revisiting “Space and the Woods”, which will see a re-release as a double A-side with a shiny new production job from Mr. Alkan, along with long-time live favorite “Focker” in mid-May. And GOD DAMN if this isn’t the biggest record of the year, if not longer than that. Erol’s gone and made this shit huge, that synth line standing out as one of the hottest moments in music this year and Prest actually sounding confident enough to sell lines like, “I’m shit-hot, so say what you think about me”. In fact, shit-hot would be a damn fine way to describe this song, which just might be the best dance-rock single this side of 2005.

Not content just to polish up a previously released track, the single comes with a second A-side in the form of “Focker”, the band’s most electro offering yet and fully worthy of a full-fledged single release in its own right. Erol works his magic again here, but they hold out until the song’s epic final moments to really lower the boom, getting all LA Priest on your ass and obliterating everything in sight with an all-out electro freak-out of epic proportions. Literally, this shit is incredible and might be one of the few singles I’ve ever heard where I can actually enjoy the instrumental every bit as much as the original (seriously, try it for yourself below). A double A-side automatically implies you’ll be getting more than your fair share of hotness on both sides of the record, but this is just absurd. Ten out of ten, bitches.

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