A gastronomic interest is introduced in the first seconds of Fujiya & Miyagi‘s third album, with David Best’s repetitive whisper of “vanilla, strawberry, knickerbockerglory”. Best later makes reference to “Stella Artois mixed with beefburger” in that distinctive hushed tone that recalls Massive Attack’s Daddy G. But delving into the lyrical meaning is pointless: this Brighton group use words purely for rhythmic effect. In fact, arguably every noise F&M make is for rhythmic effect, whether it’s the layered groove on ‘Rook to Queen’s Pawn Six’, to which Brian Eno would surely nod his baldie heid, or – since we’re in that ballpark – the updated Talking Heads afro-funk of ‘Sore Thumb’, complete with retro synth gurgles.
The irrepressible heartbeat pumps on through the spidery riff on ‘Pterodactyls’, the motorik muscle of ‘Hundreds & Thousands’ and the breathy vocals on ‘Pussyfooting’, where Best eventually gives up on proper words, resorting to lots of taka-taka-uh’s. Judged against Transparent Things, the 2006 record that launched their career, Light Bulbs is no radical overhaul. But when the original model was so effective, it’s probably better that they’ve tightened their sound on Light Bulbs, rather than ripping out the wiring and heading for Homebase.
Light Bulbs is out now on Full Time Hobby
Fujiya & Miyagi play Stereo, Glasgow on 27 Sep
(Album review for The Skinny)