May 12, 2017 by Shane O'Connor
LCD Soundsystem are on the brink of releasing a new full-length album. That is a sentence that high school me could never dream of reading, let alone writing.
I remember being a dejected 17-year old, sulking through the halls after my friend saw fit to regale me of tales of their last sShow, LCD’s three hour long farewell performance at a sold-out Madison Square Garden. Arcade Fire dropped by, they played most all of “45:33,” there were balloons and crying. I was distraught. My favorite band was calling it quits and there was nothing I could do.
I’m almost ashamed to admit how my infatuation with LCD began. I first heard of them thanks to an Aziz Ansari recommendation of their third album, “This Is Happening”, in “Entertainment Weekly.”
I googled the band to take a listen and the first video that popped up was a music video for the song “All My Friends.”
I was hooked.
I watched that video so many times Murphy’s Bowie-esque face paint is burned into my brain. It remains solely entrenched in my top ten songs of all time.
When proffered a hypothetical time machine, most opt to embark on a noble mission to kill an unsuspecting Austrian baby. I try to suggest that seeing a defunct or long-gone band would be a more useful endeavor. Go see Led Zeppelin or Jimi Hendrix at their peak, Kurt Cobain-led Nirvana if you want to waste a perfectly good hypothetical time machine. For years, I’ve stood pat, even when pressured by both the haters and the losers, saying that LCD’s “The LongLast Goodbye” in 2011 would be the destination for my time travels. Really any LCD show would have done, I was that desperate in my longing to see the storied, James Murphy-helmed band.
Two years ago, there was a glimpse of hope, a new song out of nowhere, a Christmas song of all things. “Christmas Will Break Your Heart” sounds as somber as the title suggests, carrying with it a little extra melancholy as it seemed like a one-off track by a group of artists who left at their peak.
Then suddenly last year, the band was back together again. Festival headlining spots were announced, a show in New York City on Easter rightfully signified that LCD Soundsystem was indeed, back from the dead. Now in the last few months things have gotten serious. A five-night, sold-out residency that christened the brand new venue Brooklyn Steel provided an opportunity for the band to showcase new material in front of their eager fans.
Two of the songs debuted during that residency, “Call the Police” and “American Dream” were just released ahead of LCD’s performance of the songs on Saturday Night Live. The pair of tracks are just a taste of the upcoming album, which Murphy says is “seriously almost done.”
“Call the Police” features a New Order-esque guitar riff and the ever steady drumming of Pat Mahoney. The music’s ebullient nature counters the sad subject matter of the lyrics. On the other hand, “American Dream” is a reserved ballad, and in a way, much more typical of an LCD song. Three synth lines crest over the opening of the song, before Murphy begins crooning about acid trips, mental health and true love. Both songs stand well on their own and seeing them performed on SNL was a real treat. The eight-piece band is as tight as ever and more importantly, seemed like they were having a good ol’ time playing the new material.
LCD Soundsystem is back baby, time to buckle up and enjoy the ride. Who knows how long they’ll stick around this time.