Michael Lovett, always a man of extreme optimism reaches for new lofty limits on the release of NZCA Lines’ anticipated sophomore album. Now a three person operation with the inclusion of Ash guitarist Charlotte Hatherley and Sarah Jones, the musicians have collated something larger than an album, it is a concept record centring around the earth’s impending demise as the sun expands dramatically and society reacts in two conflicting manners. The description may sound like the plot to a new dystopian HBO drama series and regardless of the awfully clichéd album title, ‘Infinite Summer’ feels to be a fittingly futuristic soundtrack to oblivion.
Preceding single ‘Persephone Dreams’ opens the album in an utterly grand manner, the mythological namesake is never realised as the majority of its six minute run length focuses on moody synth crescendos and bright guitar riffs. ‘Chemical Is Better’ has more of an effortless groove as it has not been overproduced or overthought, 70s sci-fi synth permeates the track’s instrumental chorus giving a simultaneous feeling of belonging to the past and future.
‘Jessica’ has a wonderfully new wave impression as influence from New Order and The Cure shine from every note of the dream pop chorus while Sarah Jones’ Hot Chip inclusion feels most prominent on the noir-disco number ‘Do It Better’. The band take clear inspiration from dance-tronica juggernauts Daft Punk and Justice and in parts the album toes a line dangerously close to mimicry as opposed to impression. ‘New Atmosphere’ feels as though it could have been cut directly from ‘Audio, Video, Disco’ yet ‘Sunlight’ recovers the stumble with combatant drum rolls facing off against prodigious synth.
‘Two Hearts’ is an unashamed banger with enough attitude and swagger to make even the most unwilling gig goer wiggle as NZCA effectively draws on its many alt-electro influence and collates them into one impeccable 3.20 package decorated with Lovett’s immaculate vocal. Undoubtedly this preceding single casts a large shadow upon this sun drenched record where the concept often becomes exhausted yet its overall optimism and intent are something to be marvelled at.
NZCA Lines release ‘Infinite Summer’ in the UK on 22 January 2016 through Memphis Industries