[sic] Magazine

Is Tropical – Native To

Who’d have thought you’d get much mileage out of reanimating Klaxons ‘ rotting corpse? Well, mysterious London scenesters Is Tropical are doing just that for their elliptical debut Native To is a right bedroom banger chock full of nu-rave beats that ought to be well past their use by date.

The trick, see, is to make them your own, or, in the case of recent single “South Pacific”, ignore them entirely. A little at odds with what follows it, its fuzzy delivery complements the track’s hazy, iconic synth line and sweet-as-a-button electronics nicely.

More in line with Native To as a whole however are the breathless beats found in “The Greeks”. It comes on like a nerdy Bloc Party knees-up circa “Flux”, and its tinny drum kicks and echo-y guitar intrusions all combine into lively indie disco of the highest order. Essentially a retread of that same sound, its immediate successor, which seems to borrow percussion from Yeasayer ‘s recent opus “Ambling Alp”, roams around like a vintage platform escapade, breaking, rebuilding and twanging what sounds like a ruler on the edge of a desk by way of accompaniment.

Band-like in its construction, “Oranges” is festooned with light feedback, muscular guitar walls and vocal distortion, as well as the most budget of Casio keyboards conceivable. Sadly, there’s then also a bit of a throw-away midsection to Native To , notable only for its cuts to the dreamier, wistful end of 80s snare play.

On the other hand, childlike in its imagination, “Land Of The Nod” chirrups and skitters away to itself quite happily, whereas “Lies” is aimed squarely at the club and remix market. With pronounced bass, breakdowns and squelchy repeats it can’t help but make a strong case. More interesting though is “Berlin” – a track that, vocally at least, suggests at schooling in The Flaming Lips , or even in the much underrated Richard Youngs . Dabbling in synth claps, its arpeggiating keys, phaser play and echo-y drone all nudge the track into rich fields of despondency.

Left a little awkwardly toward the end of the running order, “Zombie” has a dark-hearted shimmer that also earns it a mention. With an industrial vibe courtesy of some buzz-saw effects and a roomy feel that allows for a chill to creep into the mix, Is Tropical’s poppy heart can nevertheless still be heard thanks to a regular drum-pad beat.

Whilst Klaxons career is likely over (not over, not over yet?), Is Tropical have the brand firmly in hand with Native To , twisting it out of its tired shape and having fun with the results.

Advised downloads: “South Pacific” and “Berlin”.

~Native To is released June 13th 2011 on Kitsuné .~

myspace – Is Tropical