If groups like Iggy and The Stooges and the Motor City 5 are experiencing an underground renaissance, then so, too, are musicians from the early 80s, albeit on a smaller scale. Bands like the Rapture are a good example. Not so much indie rock as art rock, they're perfect for anyone who spent a significant part of their high school summer breaks wearing a green leisure suit, listening to Flowers of Romance and giving the full-length mirror on Grandma's armoire his best Richard Hell, mad genius, crazy-acid-dude stare.
A few songs on this EP are a bit self-indulgent (hey, even Wordsworth needed an editor), but it's worth buying for the title track alone, in which Rapture frontman/guitarist/crazy-stare-dude Luke Jenner perfects his jarring guitar sound and even more unsettling vocal work. (Though thankfully it seems as if the engineer had one hand in the jelly donuts and the other waving Jenner several feet back from the mic.) In short, on that first track they get it right. Somewhere in the middle of the album, I'd say, near a song called "The Jam," they start to lose me, and not in the Grateful Dead sense. However, they do bring one back again toward the end with "The Pop Song" and "Confrontation."
This New York-based trio has quite the rabid following in certain Aveda pomade, Cooler-type circles, and are a happy alternative to more hyped yet less interesting bands like the Strokes. (Don't worry boys, not everyone's father can be president of Elite Models. Besides, you've got Chloe Sevigny's endorsement?but then again, so does every other musician in town.) Vito Roccoforte, who in a fit of Wildean decadence lists himself as playing "percussion" on the album, nonetheless does an admirable job with the skins, although live one gets the feeling he's dying to turn Keith Moon, or at least Ginger Baker, and "hang some balls on that fucker," so to speak. Unlike most families in Central Texas, mine was atheist, so I don't know much about the Bible. That being the case, I'll pretend the band's name is a tribute to that last, extremely overlooked Siouxsie and the Banshees album. I think the Rapture at their best could evoke the richness and the poetry of that wondrous group.
The Rapture plays the Knitting Factory on July 3.