The Smu Reviews

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Music / Art / Pop Culture

After four years, don’t you think I’m over all this?

Notes On a Conditional Form (or NOACF as its merch-ified) is a beast of an album spanning 22 tracks and despite being written whilst on one of their seemingly never ending tours it is an ambitious and uncompromising release.

Stuffed with the kind of cynical, lyrical polemics we have come to expect from them it also pushes further into the electronic and ambient sounds they have always dabbled with in a more fully formed way. Genre-bending as always it still also rocks out, most notably on the angry burst of energy People, but you would be hard pressed at this point to remember they begun life as a borderline emo guitar band.

NOCAF is on the whole nowhere near as strong a release as it’s predecessor and it looks doubtful they will return to the sheer exuberance of tracks like Love Me anytime soon – but when it works it works and there is enough in here that’s good to make it more hit than miss. Perhaps a little more editing or a basic and deluxe release approach would have benefitted but this is still unequivocally the sound of a band trying to push themselves, evolve and expand when it would have been infinitely easier to sit back and churn out boilerplate pop-rock and watch the money come in.

ARTIST: The 1975
TITLE: Notes On A Conditional Form
TOP TRACKS: People, The Birthday Party, Frail State of Mind, Having No Head
MOOD: Post-millennial comedown

All words by Susan Sloan.