Out Hud's debut album Street Dad was a six track bonanza of hard-hitting beats, infectious guitar melodies, and bottom-heavy rhythms that made even jaded scenesters want to shake their booty a bit and stop with the beard scratching. The group followed-up quickly, recording basic tracks for a new album clear back in 2003, and in the time that's passed since then they've added numerous layers of overdubs and mixed down the whole thing into another stew of dancey post rock goodness that sounds a bit like the original while dipping even further into the pop pool, mostly with success.
The biggest differences between Let Us Never Speak Of It Again and Street Dad are that the group has delved full-fledged into encorporating vocals into their work, as well smoothing off a smidge more of the rock in favor of an even dancier feel. Instead of nodding more towards the harder-edged dance-punk of their musical brethren !!!, the group has opted more for influences seemingly plucked out the 80s era of lean and clean electronic dance pop. Their sense of humour is still fully intact, judging by the wacky song titles and oft-playful lyrical and musical turns, and best of all they haven't repeated themselves.
After opening with a short warm-up track, the release kicks off in full with "It's For You," an absolutely thumping 4/4 track that mixes hollowed-out kick beats with what sounds like filtered dancefloor shoutouts, plonky keyboards, and a rubbery bassline while singer Molly Schnick adds some breathy lines. "One Life To Leave" is even more straight-ahead, mixing tinny beats with plenty of filtered keyboards, some non-obtrusive guitar melodies, and plenty of vocals. It's more Duran Duran than punk, but who hasn't sung along with "Hungry Like The Wolf" at some point or another?
"Old Nude" keeps things funky with a slap-back beat and some chiming guitars that ring out with a nice warm tonal range before the group starts changing things up a bit. "The Song So Good They Named It Thrice" stretches out to over eight minutes with unfolding layers of grimey 808s and a build that resembles a great techno track while "Dear Mr. Bush, There Are Over 100 Words For Shit And Only 1 For Music. Fuck You, Out Hud" rumbles along for almost twelve minutes, building like a great DFA track and piling on the handclaps and somewhat cheesy effects until you're simply swimming in it all and waving your hands along with it.
There are a couple soft spots in the disc, and oddly enough it's in the places where the group leans back towards their old sound the most. "2005: A Face Odyssey" mixes lo-fi dancehall and a touch of dub alongside some pretty piano melodies, but at seven minutes the track just meanders along without much of a focus. Hearing tracks like the super-catchy "How Long" makes me wonder what the group could pull off if they simply shucked all their extended jams and went straight pop. Let Us Never Speak Of It Again is at the same time better than Street Dad in several ways, but also much more indulgent (sometimes in bad ways) than its concise predecessor. At the very least, I've gotta give the group credit for not standing still. Another solid (and occasionally riotously fun) album from Out Hud.