WHILE EVERY THIRD BRITISH BAND mines 1979-80 post-punk, Arcade Fire, from Canada, have stolen a march by investigating the US “no wave” of the same period.
Their masterstroke has been to invest this ironic, cool music with raw emotion. Marriages collapsed and friends died around them while they made Funeral, but grief has produced the giddy energy of a wake. The stunning ‘Laika’ hits a higher gear every 20 seconds.
Everything is delivered in Flaming Lips cinemascope, which would mean nothing without lyrics to melt the heart. “Children don’t grow up, our bodies get bigger and our minds get torn up,” cries Win Butler against ‘Wake Up”s giant rock riff.
One of the year’s best already, by a mile.
© Dave Simpson, The Guardian, 25 February 2005