Music Review: Ratatat buffs out its electro-rock to a nice sheen

Ratatat has always seethed and pulsed and coolly strutted along while the angular, spastic dance-punk of their mid-aughts contemporaries desperately tried to out-sass and out-disco-beat itself. The duo’s instrumental soundtrack seemed much more appropriate for American Apparel browsing than for ravaging every last scrap of neon from the racks—and that made Ratatat even more attractive during its infancy. On the band’s 2004 self-titled debut and 2006’s Classics, Evan Mast and Mike Stroud cleared out space for the grooves—or roaring-tiger clips—to organically bubble up, instead of feverishly trying to force them from thin air.

And though the new Magnifique—the band’s first album in five years—doesn’t reinvent the Ratatat wheel, it revisits the status-quo thrill of those first two albums, while sprinkling in the hammock-swaying, breezy tropical vibe of both LP3 and LP4. Super-processed glam-guitar lines triumphantly sweep in and out on …

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