LCD Soundsystem’s “Call the Police” is a near-perfect comeback

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LCD Soundsystem

If you’re reading this, you’re probably privy to the broad strokes of LCD Soundsystem’s mythology. I’ll avoid rehashing them. And, if you were anything like me, you probably never thought you’d be reading a review of new music from them again. Well, here we are 7 years later, and, surprise, it sounds like they never left.

You get the feeling that James Murphy fully has internalized the irony of restarting a band that he, back in 2010, claimed he was too old to front. In the opening seconds, he tries to minimize expectations immediately: “We all know this is nothing/This is nowhere/And there’s no one.”

But after that opening salvo, all bets are off. Many of LCD’s previous openers crescendoed, reached their peaks, and slowly decomposed back to their original parts. There’s no declining action here. “Call the Police” starts small with ticks and pops and finishes as a dizzied, wild swirl of sound and fury. And while it alludes to LCD’s past and contains all of Murphy’s usual peccadilloes, it wouldn’t fit on any of their previous records. This is LCD seeking stadium status, in the vein of the Killers and U2.

All this to say, “Call the Police” one of the most frenzied, outwardly joyous songs in LCD’s catalog. It’s on par with “All My Friends” and “Dance Yrself Clean”, with the bleary-eyed nostalgia and giving way to dense politics: “There’s a full-blown rebellion but you’re easy to confuse/By triggered kids and fakers with some questionable views.” By the time Murphy shouts the song’s title and refrain towards the end, it almost comes across as an invitation — as if he’s goading you to take him literally. It would take a full essay to unpack all of the commentary here.

And if you don’t have time to be irritated or take up arms, “Call the Police”’s cup runneth over with raw energy. It all makes for a perfect festival opener, a perfect summer jam, and a near-perfect comeback.