‘Machinery’ – sexy, smouldering, monster pop, that’s what it is, making you feel a little uneasy and a little horny in equal measures. Take ‘Sweatshop’ – the aural equivalent of bondage gear – dark, relentless and about as uncompromising as a hammer coming down on your John Thomas. It arrives, it enters your head and it stays there. This is the steroid-enhanced follow-up to 2009’s debut, ‘Wait For The Revolution’ and described by the band as a ‘gut-inducing slab of psycho funk’. A little bit Captain Beefheart, a little bit Queens of the Stone Age and if the cold, gothic lounge-core of ‘I’ll Never You’ is anything to go by, a little bit French New Wave – like Scott Walker, Nick Cave or Ennio Morricone would sound like if they’d become serial killers. In truth, it’s everything your mother warned you about and all the most fascinating because of it, tracks like ‘Ah I See’ wriggling into your ears with the same, slinky lothario magic of a well lubricated Prince record and ‘Tumbling Down’ doing for electro what Ron and Russell Mael did for opera. It can all get a bit claustrophobic on occasion but that’s life in a sweatshop for you.
Dutch but not daft, De Staat may look like a delegation of butchers but they’re actually rather good.