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Githead: Landing

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The alt-rock supergroup Githead consists of four veteran scenesters: Colin Newman of legendary art-pop act Wire, Malka Spiegel and Max Franken from Israeli rock-exotica band Minimal Compact, plus electronica pioneer Robin Rimbaud (a.k.a. Scanner). The band came together almost as a lark in 2004, performing a few shows and recording some fairly experimental songs, but over the past three years, Githead has become more focused. The quartet’s third LP, Landing, continues in the direction of 2007’s Art Pop, delivering guitar-driven dance tracks that recall Wire’s mid-’80s flirtation with the pop charts, mixed with the dreamy, buzzy swirls of shoegaze pioneers Lush and Ride. In short: Almost nothing on Landing is relevant to the music scene or the world at large in 2009. Still, there’s something appealing about the way Githead adheres to the big beats and soft grind of songs like “Take Off” and “Over The Limit,” which click along doggedly and somewhat deliriously, as though the band members were intoxicated by their own sound. And there’s something appealing about the idea of Newman and company gathering to make music as much for the fun of it as for any commercial concern. Landing is about the pure pleasure of marrying steady rhythms to layers of distorted guitar and synthesizer. And that pleasure conveys.