Aloof This Constant Chase For Thrills

The Aloof was, at one time, a great band. In the mid-'90s, they were quite successful with their brand of chill-out house, courtesy of two former Sabres of Paradise members. Constantly grouped with the likes of Massive Attack and Faithless, the Aloof never quite saw the success of their counterparts. They released two good albums (Sinking and Seeking Pleasure) on East/West and had hits with "One Night Stand" and "Wish You Were Here." When Jagz Kooner left the band to become a major force in production and engineering (Primal Scream, David Holmes), the Aloof lost what seemed to be their backbone. This Constant Chase For Thrills, the first post-Kooner album, is truly disappointing. The opening track, "So Good," is a decent representation of what the band used to sound like. A dark, haunting, yet soulful piece of urban house, the song is not unlike early Massive Attack. The rest of the album travels at a slower pace and only picks up once when the ace single, "Infatuated," hits half way through. By far the best song on the album, "Infatuated" displays why the Aloof has been hailed as the "Joy Division of dance music." The song travels quickly but delves deeper and deeper into anguish, with major knob twiddling affecting the layered vocals of Ricky Barrow. Most of the songs seem to go on forever, yet go nowhere at the same time. Some bands can pull it off but when you're as miserable as the Aloof, death seems to be the only way out. (Screaming Target)