June 3, 2008

It’s been three years since British electro-rock outfit Ladytron released its last record, and the band seems eager to get their new material out to the public, offering downloads of new album “Velocifero” on iTunes prior to its official release on June 3.

Their enthusiasm is justified.

After a less-than-amicable split with former label Rykodisc following the release of 2005’s “Witching Hour,” the Liverpool-based foursome (Helen Marnie, Mira Aroyo, Daniel Hunt and Reuben Wu) signed with Nettwerk Records last November. The band is currently in the midst of an extensive North American tour to promote the new record (see dates below).

In spite of its name, which translates to “bringer of speed,” “Velocifero” is collection of infectious melodies that, while danceable, are not frenetic. On the whole, the album, which was recorded in Paris, is less pop-y than previous Ladytron releases, but accessibility isn’t lost among the darker melodies – particularly on the easily stuck-in-your-head “Predict the Day.”

From the get go, it’s obvious that the band means business. Leadoff track “Black Cat” kicks off the album with a rhythm as ominous as its title. It’s inconsequential that listeners who don’t speak Bulgarian won’t be able to understand a single lyric, which Aroyo sings in her native language; the beat in itself is sufficiently enticing. The industrial-electro fusion “I’m Not Scared” takes things up a notch, with pounding drums supplementing Marnie’s airy vocals.

Throughout “Velocifero,” the lyrics take a backseat to the dense instrumentation, but some of the sentiments, delivered with deadpan indifference, are notable. (“I don’t hate you / Or want you / Enough to wake you,” Marnie sings on “Tomorrow.”) The bass-heavy “Deep Blue” highlights Aroyo’s low-pitched vocals (in English this time), while “Runaway” features a drum-n-synth meshing that evokes early Depeche Mode.

The album’s liner notes are blank, save for a few thank-yous. For now at least, it appears the members of Ladytron are content to let their music do the talking. And on “Velocifero,” their message is getting out loud and clear.

Ladytron Tour Dates:

Jun 2 In The Venue Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 3 The Gothic Denver, CO
Jun 5 Palladium Ballroom Dallas, TX
Jun 6 Stubbs Austin, TX
Jun 7 Meridian Houston, TX
Jun 8 House Of Blues New Orleans, LA
Jun 10 Club Firestone Orlando, FL
Jun 11 Czar Tampa, FL
Jun 12 Studio A Miami, FL
Jun 13 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
Jun 15 Bonnaroo Festival Manchester, TN
Jun 16 The Pageant St.Louis, MO
Jun 17 Vic Theater Chicago, IL
Jun 18 St.Andrews Hall Detroit, MI
Jun 25 Terminal 5 New York, NY
Jun 26 Theater Of Living Arts Philadelphia, PA
Jun 27 Sonar Baltimore, MD
Jun 28 9:30 Club Washington, DC
Jun 30 Paradise Boston, MA

International dates:

Jul 2 Metropolis (Jazz Fest) Montreal, QC CA
Jul 3 Theatre Imperial de Quebec
(Summer Fest) Quebec City, QC CA
Jul 4 Harbourfront Centre Toronto, ON CA
Jul 5 Blues Festival Ottawa, ON CA
Jul 12 Gorgeous Ground @ Pantai
Carnival Ancol Jakarta ID
Sep 29 Metro Sydney, AU
Oct 1 Tivoli Brisbane, AU
Oct 2 Corner Hotel Melbourne, AU
Oct 4 The Great Escape Festival Sydney, AU
Oct 5 Bakery Artrage Complex Perth, AU

About The Author

Elizabeth Raftery is senior editor of Blast. Follow her on Twitter.

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