Architecture In Helsinki In Case We Die

As they hinted on 2003’s Fingers Crossed, Architecture in Helsinki have great potential, so it should come as no surprise that they’ve reached it on only their sophomore record. In Case We Die is that great quirky pop album 2005 has been in search of in the same way the Fiery Furnaces were discovered for theirs last year. And in many respects, these Melbourne-based Australians have captured that same level of experimental enthusiasm and overblown yet irresistible dynamics the Friedbergers manhandled with Blueberry Boat. However, AIH aren’t a carbon copy whatsoever. A gang of eight fill this line-up and that’s clear at the outset, as a number of different voices whisper, shout and harmonise overtop of the slow building and beautifully orchestrated arrangements, like the Arcade Fire after a couple of Pixie Sticks. While their debut suffered from terse songs and a case of A.D.D., the band has dealt with those issues masterfully by maintaining the exciting dramatic twists and lengthening most of their songs past the two-minute mark. They even came prepared with a stellar single, "Do the Whirlwind,” which is so lively and danceable it could very well become the next dance sensation with its tricky sitar parts, near-hip-hop beats and choir vocals joining in to fade out. Throw in their own little tangent-heavy, four-part rock opera on the title track and they’ve become the next big unforeseen thing. (Bar/None)