Munch Munch - Double Visions (2011)

Avant-pop is back baby. Sonic ambition is regained, and peace is made with melody. We’ve had great contributions this year from Fol Chen and Sufjan Stevens, and now there’s more primal, primary colour from Bristol’s Munch Munch. What makes this album different from most electronic pop is the sense of the epic, the glossy and the twisted smashing together in a glorious technicolour swirl. Think Animal Collective tightening up the mess, becoming more jerky, and pulling the vocals a whole octave higher. Fans of Sparks and the Associates will delight in the sheer panache and bravado of this record. To hear it makes us feel like we’re standing on the edge of the universe.

At one point you’ll hear a grainy xylophone, the next a Hammond. Drums are battered in the background. There is a sense that the equipment being used has seen better days, that the paint is just flaking on the sides, or their return trip from the future has scorched it somehow. There is definitely something retro futuristic there, like the spirit of early Roxy Music, or Suicide: something 70s but not quite. In truth, Munch Munch have broken free from their era, have plainly driven clean off the map. Tempos switch up, down, and left of centre, often in the space of a verse, sometimes with a yelping hyped vocal fuzzed or floating above. Sometimes the vocal whispers to you, sometimes it lectures you. It often feels like there are a hundred different personalities leaping at you from the speakers. Like Bowie, each is given a different tone and approach. It’s all part of the rich, syrupy Wonkasound that Munch Munch have created.

As the album develops the attitude becomes more brutalised if anything. Ever more frantic, the drums pound and distort, the message becoming more pained on ‘River Gleams’. It all feels like we are gliding with them through the city, the night is sodium drenched, the day a mess of neon. Right now Munch Munch are an outstanding attempt to soundtrack the cultural collapse of our great civilisation.

Munch Munch
Double Visions
Album art: 
Release date: 

1. It's Nothing
2. Cyclorama
3. Night Corner
4. Bold Man Of The Sea
5. Autumn Mask
6. Car Wash (In The Street)
7. Wedding
8. Prank Call
9. Wolfman's Wife
10. River Gleams

Music label: 
United Kingdom
Average: 3.2 (5 votes)
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