Gang Gang Dance
Eye Contact, the fifth full-length record from New York City experimentalists Gang Gang Dance, is the band's most consistently direct and engaging. It's also probably the least cool thing they've ever done—assuming that drawing from a wide palette of proudly cheesy influences is still uncool in a post-Ariel Pink world. It might actually be the coolest thing they've ever done? Hard to say. It certainly eschews the sleek club sound of their previous standout "House Jam," instead reigning in pop influences from around the globe to pair with the signature tribal rhythms that always felt a little more exotic than Houston Street. After the old-school GGD epic workout "Glass Jar", the record tours numerous international styles, the common denominator being anything that's ever inspired a truly inexplicable karaoke video. "Chinese High" smacks of the tinny Asian pop charts, probably K-Pop as opposed to J-Pop (the obvious C-Pop not being much of a thing). "Mind Killa" is a Bollywood anthem given deep, dank synth accompaniment. "Romance Layers" comes back home for a much-weirder take on an early 90s sex jam. While all of this is further ominous proof that the parochial standards of good taste have been more or less obliterated in the past few years, Eye Contact is notably enjoyable for finally placing vocalist Lizzy Bougatsos front and center on the majority of its songs. While that irrepressible rhythm continues to be the band's beating heart, she's the one that imbues these plastic textures with a modicum of soul.