Micachu and the Shapes — Never

homepage_large.aa08b657This act is classically trained musician Mica Levi, from Surrey, UK teaming up with her band The Shapes, who include members Raisa Khan and Marc Pell. Because it’s hard to describe what’s going on here then it must be a good sign; it must be healthy. For a start at least it’s not more “band with guitars in a more experimental or synth-hinged change in direction”. (Note: some good records this year have fitted this very description, notably the new Liars and Twilight Sad LPs, but more often than not it has been late-to-the-party, tiresome sounding and uninspired, middle of the road stuff).

Anyway quickly, what is going on with Never? Imagine Broadcast, Deerhoof, US Girls, and Pram all super-colliding. That way you sort of get the picture. As the record begins it can appear eccentric  for the sake of it, in an almost unlistenable manner, but as it continues the odd hooks and wayward and awkward challenging sort of playfulness within start to come together.

This is what I’ve always loved best about music; somebody not afraid to go against the grain and experiment. Granted it doesn’t always come off, but at least they tried. Here Micachu and the Shapes (notice how I’ve thus far refrained from referring to “her” Shapes?), and indeed the band’s difficult yet sweet little left-leaning racket succeeds at both. It may be a bit up and down, or even hard to take too much of in one sitting but when it’s good, as on ‘OK’, ‘Heaven’, and ‘Slick’ it’s a delight.


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