Out Hud, Street Dad

Michaelangelo Matos

By Michaelangelo Matos

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Dance rock masterpiece that’ll dare you to stay still.

In 2002, the New York rock scene was in ascendance, not least because "rock" was as much a code for "live bands" as anything. The Brooklyn quintet Out Hud, for example, were — along with sister band !!! — more interested in post-rave groove theory than slam-it-out guitar-bass-drums minimalism. On Street Dad, their first full album, Out Hud is still instruments-only — cellist Molly Schnick and percussionist Phyllis Forbes would wait until 2005's Let Us Never Speak of It Again to step up to the microphone — and they let their song titles do the talking: "The L Train Is a Swell Train and I Don't Want to Hear You Indies Complain," for example, or "Dad, There's a Little Phrase Called Too Much Information" say as much as their grooves. "L Train" is a multipart 12-minute tour de force that brings to mind Primal Scream's "Loaded" and the Stone Roses '"Fools 'Gold," only it's tense where those songs are all release, while "Information" combines serrated post-punk guitar and dubby post-disco. Best of all is "This Bum's Paid," which swamps its loping groove with industrial guitars. If you ever wished Tortoise made music aimed for a dance floor instead of just being inspired by the sounds emanating from one a block away, this album is for you.