London trio PVA have only got one EP to their name right – but it shows a band arriving fully formed. All at once you hear washes of Depeche Mode and the clever hooks of the best of the big beat ear – I’m thinking Chemical Brothers always. But before any of that you’re dragged kicking (your heels off) and never screaming into an Anglophile’s version of the very best times when LCD Soundsystem meant something. Opener, Talks, just vibes hard. Fantastic band energy, such a groove.
From there it’s to Sleek Form which is darker, the synth-hook rolls and writhes and twists and the Chemical Brothers reference is alive. And pulsing hard.
Exhaust / Surroundings is the last of the original compositions for this debut EP, slower-grind to this one, think Mazzy Star remixing The xx, that final (to date) Portishead album and of course the Depeche Mode of its vintage dark-clubbing years.
But it’s not over yet -we get three remixes. First up Mura Masa reworks Talks and it feels a bit like Tricky and Aphex Twin fighting over a Bowie remix. Next up Lynks remixes Talks and shows how lithe the song really is – sounding completely different for the third time on one EP.
The final track is a Daniel Fox / Girl Band remix of Exhaust /Surroundings – and more Chemical Brothers pheromones drip from these walls.
The late 90s big beat era never sounded so good. The early 2010s indie-goes-dance hook-fest was never quite this good either. PVA have arrived fully formed. I can’t wait for a full-length album to capitalise on this swell of fine intent.