[sic] Magazine

Top Less – Top Less Gay Love Tekno Party

Scissor Sisters ; Electric Six ; Abba – musical greats all, you’ll surely agree. Flamboyant Canadian seven-piece Top Less (formerly both Topless Gay Love Tekno Party and TLGLTP ) draw from all four titans, specialising (obviously) in camp-as-the-proverbial electro-pop. The group (that list in full: Mike Shindler ; Donné Torr ; Benny Schütze ; Sean Tyson ; Ian Bevis ; Kevin Fairbairn ; and Lucas Hamilton ) are also self-professed Eurovision fans and, perhaps inevitably, they are therefore somewhat short on subtlety, pushing their tongue-in-cheek shtick way too far on occasion.

The opening to the happy-go-lucky single “Robin”, for example, would be considered too saccharin sweet for even the most mawkish of kid’s TV despite the track’s best efforts to be closer to the synth-pop charms of the likes of Chairlift . By all accounts, you’re probably thinking “novelty nightmare” by now, but in fairness many of the tracks on this debut LP have likeable elements, particularly if earworm pop-hooks are your bag.

The euphoric chorus in “Club Banger”, “Let’s do something / Tomorrow we’ll regret it / Let’s do something / And then forget about it” , has guilty pleasure run through its every groove. The pared-back “Polar Bears” however, in which the kitsch male/female vocal is shared, is more in line with the cool mewing of pure Scandinavian pop. Remarkably, come some flagrantly upbeat guitar work and tell-tale backing vocals, there are also hints of a working knowledge of Arcade Fire to be found in “My 5”. And, out of nowhere, the reigned-in single “Danger Love” is entirely enjoyable too, coming on like Karen O cosying up to Natasha Khan backed by a soundtrack of tumbling strings – an audio/visual takeaway that’ll take this reviewer some time to shake.

As confirmed by every Internet reference to the band ever, there’s little doubt a live TLGLTP show (Costume! Dance! Glitter!) would be quite the rainbow party. All the same, outside of carnival-esque context and in the sterile environment of the LP format, Top Less are on the whole quite a few sugar rushes too many for the dentist’s and perhaps many other’s liking.

As a total aside, I’m sat here listening to Liturgy while I write this. FFS.

Advised downloads: “Club Banger” and “My 5”.

~Top Less Gay Love Tekno Party is available now on iTunes.~