CSS came crashing onto the music scene just two years ago, riding the crest of the wave of indie-electro bands that have since taken over both our airwaves and our nightclubs. In July, the Brazilian quintet finally released their second album.
Anticipation levels, needless to say, were quite high for this one. After taking their debut on a highly repetitive tour of hyperactive performances and badly tuned guitars, performing the same set over and over again, CSS fans across the globe had been itching for something new. In fact, such outrageous flogging of a single album has not been seen since Damien Rice re-released O for the six millionth time (figures used in this article may be slightly exaggerated to express the writer’s intense dislike for a certain acclaimed singer/songwriter – sorry Damian).
Unfortunately for CSS, try as they might, this second offering lacks the untamed, low-budget, “we-don’t-even-really-know-how-to-play-guitar-properly-but-hell-we’re-gonna-try” charm that hundreds of us bopped to in a packed out tent at 2007’s Trinity Ball. It seems that CSS no longer want to be the fun, feisty pseudo-rock band we’ve all come to know and love; instead, the album takes a far more serious tone and comes laced with more try-hard angst than a Transition Year creative writing class at a My Chemical Romance gig.
All is not lost though; the album does come with a few saving graces with tracks like Believe Achieve and Move, where the band manage to blend a more mature sound with some heavy eighties influences to create some moments of pure electro-pop bliss.
Overall, CSS deliver a disappointing second album which bravely but unwisely strays just that little bit too far away from what captured our hearts in the first place. Let’s just hope they stick around long enough to redeem themselves with album number three. Although in an industry as fickle as the music business, they’d want to pull something fairly impressive out next time around.