In nightlife circles, the threat of apocalypse comes every evening with the flicker of the lights that alert last call. Each party has a conclusion, an abrupt ending. The Presets' 2008 breakthrough, Apocalypso, took that concept several steps further; the seismic Australian duo coated their dance floors in aggressive themes of post-industrial dystopian desperation. But what happens when your soundtrack for the End Times sparks not just ubiquity in your homeland, but recognition on a global stage? For the Sydney-based pair's third album, Pacifica (Modular), the attitude shifts from night to day, because after every party comes a new morning.
Pacifica is that daytime album, more cohesive and coyly assertive than its predecessor. "We're more assured, more confident, less jump-up-and-down-trying-to-get-your-attention," says producer/drummer Kim Moyes by phone. "That comes with maturity. There are concepts of movements, different emotions . . . each sound has a relevance."
There's no more relevant sound in the Presets' dance arsenal than the commanding baritone of Julian Hamilton. Whereas the bubbly "Promises" is a lighter extension of past hit "This Boy's in Love," Hamilton's voice takes center stage on "Ghosts," bellowing something of a sea shanty over a throbbing beat and dramatic synth rises. Album closer "Fail Epic" finds Hamilton entranced, percussion-free. "The vocals are the center of the music," says Moyes. "We made a conscious effort to not hide Julian's vocals under effects or distortion. We didn't feel they needed to hide behind trends."
THE PRESETS + YACHT:: House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St, Boston :: October 20 @ 6 pm :: All-Ages :: $20 :: 617.693.2583 or hob.com/boston
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