Ice on the Dune

Successful Eighties-zonked dance bands like Passion Pit and even Foster the People make their airy glitz stick by impacting it with ambivalence. This Aussie duo go for a simpler, sucrose-overdose approach on their second album: escapist New Wave disco full of trance-y gloss and hooky know-how on par with Taco, if not the Buggles. (Luke Steele was in the indie-pop band the Sleepy Jackson, and Nick Littlemore was in the electro act Pnau.) "Dream time/It's our special place," they sing on "DNA." The vintage-Daft Punk cheese platter "Celebrate" and album-ending­ Bowie joke "Keep a Watch" are foamy fun, but too often Ice on the Dune just feels like a lobotomy on the dance floor.

From The Archives Issue 1186: July 4, 2013