Leg Puppy has a track record of delivering dark electronic treats layered with a mixture of satire and polemic but don’t mistake their message for brow-beating agitprop, Leg Puppy have their tongue firmly planted in their cheek (as you will see if you follow them on social media) and their new album (their 5th, no less), The Air in Utopia is Poison once again turns their wit and wisdom towards many of the things that make modern life hilarious, tragic and confounding.
Leg Puppy are miners of the Zeitgeist, and they use beats to deliver a beating to the frustrating aspects of living in the modern world with previous releases having dealt with online gambling, payday loan companies, selfies and emoji’s. Deep pulses and arpeggiated flashes stomp menacingly over 4-on-the-floor beats and most of the tracks feature electronic voices that appear like dystopian Tannoy messages sent back from our near future to warn us all about the online cliff we are all about to fall off. The Air in Utopia is Poison has the band train their laser sights on, amongst other things, disembodied members – ‘Dick Pic (open that inbox)’, the insidious practice of musicians being asked to pay to get onto playlists – ‘Your Profile is Dope’ and their hatred of the digital knotweed of being followed around the internet by the information that has been gathered about us – ‘Algorithms You’re an Arsehole‘.
Previously I have described Leg Puppy as George Orwell’s house band and this album reinforces that idea. It ploughs a darker furrow than previous releases and the spoken word elements create the feel of a film soundtrack (‘The Man Who Fell to a Digital Earth and Would Rather Go Back to His Arid Dying Planet’). It’s a compelling listen and another fine addition to their growing catalogue of danceable social commentary. The Air In Utopia Is Poison is a Public Information Film from the Black Mirror but the algorithms probably won’t let you know this so you’ll have to trust Joyzine and Leg Puppy .
You can experience Leg Puppy live (and believe me it is an experience!) at the Vanishing Point night at AMP Studios near New Cross in London on Thursday 2 September. Tickets here
Review by Paul F Cook