What do you get if you cross a DJ famed for championing dancefloor remixes with a musician with a penchant for techno-noise? Why, Losers of course! The teaming up of XFM’s Eddy Temple-Morris with Tom Bellamy of 1990s band The Cooper Temple Clause is a fusion of two men with similar takes on dance music – namely, that it should be a pumping joyride. This debut album, Beautiful Losers, is a lot of fun, though you feel they could do with a little more creative input to give their sound more depth.
Opening track “Three Colours” lays a solid foundation with a slow build up as a dreamy soundscape is accompanied by a male vocal announcing ‘this is where I dance’ to which a driving 4/4 beats piles in to get things moving. “No Man is an Island”, billed as the Losers’ theme, is a clear indication that Eddy and Tom want to adopt an electro sound inspired by Digitalism and Simian Mobile, though shows early signs they could do with more subtle elements to capture the imagination rather than go for simplistic, though head nodding, beat. Case in point is “Nothing Will Die” which lacks any forceful impact so sorely needed as an electro riff attempts to tear through the air. Far better is the rap-happy “Flush” with allusions to the Ed Banger style and, in the female vocals, the label’s act Uffie. It’s got an edgy twist that only appears sparingly on across Beautiful Losers. “Never Meant to Be” gets the mix of vocal-triggered hooks and uplifting synths just right.
Beautiful Losers is a lot of fun
The blissed-out “Azan” is just waiting for a big remix which I’m sure Eddy would delight in playing on his show while “Sirenna” is a disappointing big room number. Then there’s breakbeat fun on “Katana” while “Talk to the Hand” is a little too noisy and busy trying to emulate Justice than to be enjoyable. Losers do save a real treat at the end with “Summertime Rolls” featuring Placebo’s Brian Moloko on vocal duty to see out the album in style.
Much like Eddy Temple-Morris and The Cooper Temple Clause, there’s something about Losers which is immensely appealing – perhaps it’s that Eddy and Tom have produced an album that wears its heart on its sleeve in its intention to be entertaining electro pop you’ll find yourself humming even though you might not have found a tune so infectious the first time you heard it. This is the Losers charm: they write solid tunes you’ll suddenly find yourself want to listen to – and perhaps have a little jig. Live, their music has the potential to be a lot of fun but when they return to the studio, let’s have a bit more spice into the mix please, lads.