Glasgow based indie/dance five-piece The Statler Project make a symphony of alternative synth with their own unique take on funk and indie on Mechanical Intervention.
‘Industrial Temptation’ takes you into a dark, cosmic underworld painted with dissonant chord progressions and militant like vocals; it feels like an eerie scene from a Zombie apocalypse.
The track is brutally unapologetic and full of gumption, the relatively simplistic form and composition are effective; the electronic backdrop is fitting and the vocals strong.
Mechanical Intervention has a clever way of communicating clear messages, while keeping the music itself interesting; there is an attenuated sense of frustration in the repetitiveness of the lyrics and a hopeful optimism in the funk and wah-wah features brought in on guitar.
‘Escape the Mundane’ is more upbeat but still the message is clear that there’s a yearning for something more out of life.
‘Sasquatch’ really gets into a super funky flow, but still remains a little dark yet full of elusive brilliance, it’s a unique find to hear funk and almost grunge combined in this way but the skillful fabrication of the track is testament to the band’s slightly out of this dimension approach.
‘Contrast’ is out in full cyber force, it’s a trippy journey through synth-sustained chords and syncopated beats.
The message is about “lunches for the homeless”, but this comes out of the blue, and again this sense of dissatisfaction with the current status quo comes through while remaining hopeful for something better.
‘Head Down’ may be this something, it’s livelier and there’s more to this story.
There’s greater complexity in the range of instruments sampled, potentially even a bit of didgeridoo, still a little psychedelic, but stronger, and there’s greater certainty in the lyrics.
This theme is continued in ‘Superiority Complex’, here the pace drives you forward, a clever use of syncopation keeps this one rolling, it’s like a cyber disco for indie fans.
Bringing us right back down to Earth, ‘Ma Buzzer’ plays around with an old voice recording; the melody is responsive to the message and the band makes an effective use of an almost question and answer game between the recording and the music – it’s playful, and true to the spirit of the slightly wacky character of the album.
‘Buzz Buzz’ brings back the funk, the grunge guitar and just a hint of ludicrosity.
Here the drone-esque vocals return to tell us all about the honeybees, the story is playful to match the funky feel of the track.
Mimicking the sound of buzzing wings, there’s everything from a “honeycomb boudoir” to the guys “wanting to pollenate ya”.
The music itself makes sense amongst the nonsense of the lyrics, it’s a playful end to a complex, sometimes dark track list.
Words: Rachel Cunningham