Games: That We Can Play EP Review
That We Can Play, the new EP from electronic duo Games, is a dirty, sexy, grimy take on dancy electro pop. I’m talking dirty, like “that was awesome, but I should probably get tested” dirty. When your biggest complaint after spinning the album countless times is that you wish it was longer, you know you have found a great record. The dark, synth driven EP is not only one of the best of its genre, but is one of the most enjoyable records I have heard this year.
Although it is a short album, it initially was difficult making it through to the end on accounts of the sheer awesomeness of the first track, “Strawberry Skies.” The song starts out sounding like a Knife track, reaching and poking with synth stabs and some icy drums. The song builds throughout, finally releasing at about the three minute mark in a euphoric pop explosion. “Midi Fun” sounds like a track that local group Lookbook, who recently broke up, would have written if they hadn’t thrown in the towel. “Planet Party” is the nostalgia dripping soundtrack to the best party ever. The track, which sounds like a harder, less pop centric version of lots of current bands, reminds you of girls in leather jackets and skinny jeans. There are probably lots of good things at this party, but I can almost assure you there is going to be trouble. “Shadows Bloom” was one of the first songs I heard from the group a while back and is a standard, but hard hitting, funky dance track. The album wraps up with two remixes. The first is by Games and is of the track “It Was Never Meant to Be.” The second is a GATEKEEPER remix of the opening track “Strawberry Skies,” and not surprisingly it doesn’t live up to the excellent original, but is still entertaining.
Taking a genre that seems to make releases either ice cold and heartless or hollow and substance free, That We Can Play shows a band not tehtered to either methodology. Games show precision while still making pop songs that have heart and melody. ..That We Can Play is too short, but from what the band offers is one of the most concise and entertaining EP’s of the year.
That We Can Play is out Nov 2nd on Hippos in Tanks.