THE NAKED AND FAMOUS – Passive Me, Aggressive You (Fiction)

I was first intrigued by The Naked And Famous after a piece in the NME highlighting this up and coming band from New Zealand. The bits I heard sounded interesting so I tried the album when it came out, and although it might not be the sort of thing that I would normally go for, there is plenty on here to enjoy. ‘Punching In A Dream’ has a great, catchy tune underpinned by pounding synths and chaotic guitar, although ‘Frayed’ meanders a bit, and is not as immediate. ‘The Sun’, however, more than makes up for it, with it chanted vocals, skittering beats and angular guitar squalls throughout. A bit more experimental, but a lot more enjoyable. ‘Eyes’ is more straight-forward electro-pop, with an anthemic chorus that you can just picture playing over the credits of an alt.rock rom-com. ‘Young Blood’ brings out the buzz-saw guitars, and Alisa Xayalith takes over vocal duties for this ‘Kids’ style rocker. This is swiftly followed by ‘No Way’, which lulls you in with a gently strummed acoustic guitar and Alisa’s breathy vocal, before a hailstorm of guitars rain down on your head. ‘Jilted Lovers’ is another guitar-heavy rocker, but that is nothing compared to ‘A Wolf In Geek Clothing’, where the punk attitude of the band erupts to the fore in a maelstrom of shrieking guitars. ‘Girls Like You’ closes the album in a more traditional manner, with a fairly mainstream electro rock-pop song – OK I suppose, but ending on ‘A Wolf In Geeks Clothing’ would have left you panting for more rather than just thinking ‘Oh, it’s finished’. So certainly a band to watch out for in the future, and if they pull back on the MGMT style pop stuff and concentrate on the more experimental side of the band then I will definitely stick with them.

Punching In A