Django Django – Born Under Saturn
Three years ago the Scottish indie rockers burst onto the scene with an album chock full of surf-inflected pop nuggets, a debut that was more treats than tricks and got a couple of songs in permanent rotation on any number of rock lover playlists. Born Under Saturn, at first, offers an enticing platter of more-of-the-same. It’s pretty delicious, for a couple of minutes; after the first song, you start to realize that this buffet has been sitting under hot lights for too long and is the exact same set of material that was offered up the first time, only without the novelty, the hooks, and the appeal.
Like so many bands today, Django Django mines inspiration from the vast reaches of the psychedelic era. Right from the get-go on “Giant” you’ll hear melodies that stem directly from the Paisley Sixties, married to the dense, chunky grooves that were delightful the first time around. Now, though, they just feel suffocating, as though the lockstep of their rhythm section is drowning the actual hooks. There’s certainly nothing as lasting as “Hail Bop” or even “Default” on this record, although there’s also nothing outright awful either. That’s probably the biggest problem with the album: there’s just nothing to write home about, good or bad. It simply is, and you need to do something more than fake treading water to make a career out of your band. It’s 2015, and there are enough musical options out there that you don’t need to stick with a band that is just going to offer up a dried-out version of yesterday’s buffet items.