The Rapture
Fri Aug 20
8 NW 6th

It began about two years ago as a dull tingling. If you're like me, you begin to notice these things early on. You learn to trust your senses. They're the best hope you've got in this game. You see, being a social contrarian is a serious business, and one that requires a heightened sensitivity and adeptness in this age of rapid succession. Which--in the case of the ever-controversial Rapture--makes matters surprisingly confusing.

With last year's confounding Echoes still a staple at progressive hair salons across this great nation, the Rapture have spent the last year in a comfortable purgatory of glowing major label-style success and critical flip-flopping. Their major-label debut, Echoes arrived (about six months too late, if my senses are to be trusted) with a mountain of anticipation, and was met with equal parts celebration and confusion--alternating exactly what was expected (overworked disco remakes of old material) with elements that defied expectation (Roxy Music balladry?). Released a year after it was recorded (and largely made up of material that was at least a year old when they recorded it), Echoes failed to lived up to the expectation or hype--but I'm reluctant to believe that even the Bible would have satiated the wolves. Riding in on a similar critical wave to the one that Interpol found a year before--the Rapture have gone without any legitimately new material for roughly two years--seemingly dragging in the 'Pol's familiar wake. Currently touring Coors Amphitheaters, Home Depot Centers, and Arco Arenas across America as part of the Cure's Curiosa Festival (alongside the likes of Mogwai, Cursive, and the aforementioned Interpol), the Rapture have officially "made it"--but just where they lie in the hearts of the hip remains to be seen.

It's here that I begin to struggle, as even with all of the disappointment and major label backlash--it's difficult to keep a consensus straight. See, without a clear sense of personal taste of my own, I largely rely on such a barometer to tactically define that which is socially accepted, and in an attempt at self-righteous superiority, stand in direct opposition. Which is to say that if the world hates it, I must, in turn, love it--and vice versa. With feelers focused, I have both "loved" and "loathed" the Rapture at least a half-dozen times each in the past two years--but for all of my experience, I can't seem to get a clear reading. Everybody just keeps flip-flopping. It's enough to make a contrarian throw up his hands and just form an opinion.

While the Cure and Interpol take a day off to restock their hair product, the Rapture and the rest of the oddly assorted headliners (Mogwai and Cursive) play a pick-up game between Curiosa stops this Friday at the Roseland.