Rhythm and Blues and Record Nerds

The Rapture might impress the scenesters, but they really just want to make you dance.

“I’ve … just seen a fucking million and one rock bands in my life, and they rarely excite me, so you kind of have to reach outside of that.” And so Gabe Andruzzi, multi-instrumentalist for the Rapture, declares war on tradition and lays out his band’s plan of attack.

For the New York four-piece, “reaching outside of that” means combining the signifiers of multiple styles and throwing them against an aural canvas. Their new record, “Pieces of the People We Love,” is appropriately titled, if the people they love are the Rolling Stones, Gang of Four, Public Enemy and Donna Summer. Screeching electric guitars? Check. Tribal rhythms? Uh huh. Disco ball beats? Yep. Vocals caught somewhere between David Byrne and Robert Smith? Sure thing.

So, what kind of music, exactly, does the Rapture make?

“As of lately, I like to think of it really simply,” Andruzzi said. “I think of it in two terms: ideally, how I imagine us fitting into contemporary culture, and also my idea of the history of rock and roll. I like to just say that we’re an R&B band. I would love for our music to get played on BET and Hot 97, which neither one of those things is going to happen.”

“People have called us punk funk, disco punk, dance rock, you know, all these things.,” he continues. “We like punk, we like funk, we like disco, we like rock and roll, whatever, but to me the whole mythology or history of early rock and roll and soul music and R&B, you go dance. These are dance songs. They’re short, three and a half, four minute long pop songs that make you want to move, and I think that’s pretty much what our general MO is, that we’re just trying to make rhythmic pop music.”

He pauses.

“But we’re also record nerds, so a lot of other things will turn up in there, and we do have our reference points,” he finally says.

So there you have it. The Rapture aspires to be nothing more than the funky, white-boy progeny of Mr. James Brown. Ultimately, though, even this broad description of their sound is a bit too much for Andruzzi’s comfort.

“Genres I think are fun, and they’re fun especially for writers to write about,” he said. “It’s just people trying to make boxes, so they can write an article or they can market something. That all makes sense. That makes sense; it’s practical. All that stuff to me is about laziness and market economy.” So call it what you want if it makes you feel better, but know that while genres won’t make you dance, the Rapture will. n

See the Rapture transcend genre (and perhaps the market economy) at 9:30 Club tonight at 10. Tickets are $15.

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