Track Review: Hot Chip “Shake a Fist”

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    [audio:http://media.prefixmag.com/site_media/uploads/mp3s/Hot_Chip_Shake_A_Fist.mp3]
    Having never attended a Hot Chip concert, I was not even vaguely aware of this apparent live favorite until it popped up over on Fluxblog last week. It seems the band is intent on smuggling the track out as a limited run 12″, with very little fanfare. As a track list for the group’s next record will likely remain unannounced until nearer to the expected February 2008 release date, there’s no way of knowing whether the song will get more of an eventual spotlight. I fully expect it to be blowing minds on the sly regardless.
    The band starts the track in already fine form, squeaky synths and a laid back bass line playing sidekick to ominous urban jungle drums. The vocals have a well defined power dynamic as well. Alexis Taylor’s falsetto calls and a small platoon of his crazed mates respond, tweaking his confidence levels ever upward by emphatically exalting his incredible butchery and underwater breathing skills. The galloping rhythm stops in its tracks for a spoken interlude about a game called “sounds of the studio,” and for a split second you fear that the accumulating ego might have caused an irreperable party. The momentary pause is soon excused by the revelation that, by “studio,” he apparently means “crunk laser lab.” The future shock work out eventually integrates with the original back and forth that now somehow seems so long ago. It ends abruptly enough to leave you fanatically hitting repeat.
    This is one of the best singles of the year. Possibly next year as well if it does manage to escape the obscure vinyl ghetto.