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Boomkat Product Review:
Brooklyn band Small Black rank alongside Washed Out as the leading lights of the chillwave movement, having given the ludicrously billed genre one of its key anthems to date in 'Despicable Dogs'. New Chain is the band's debut album, and it marks a distinct increase in the fidelity stakes since the release of their eponymous EP: the productions are full and colourful, delivered with far more recording clarity than their earliest dispatches. In fact, while the slightly woozy, gauzy quality of old is present to some degree, there's an unveiled mid-'80s worshipping crispness to a track like 'Search Party' that probably puts it closer to Stock, Aitken & Waterman than contemporaries like Neon Indian. With its detuning synths, massive choruses and big, blocky electronic beats, 'Search Party' is a fantastic way to spend three minutes and stands as worthy successor to 'Despicable Dogs'; it's also by no means a lone standout. 'Photojournalist', 'Camouflage' and the brilliant title track would all rank as high-flying entries into the chillwave canon, although as we approach the twilight months of 2010 that genre tag fees weirdly outmoded. With this debut album Small Black have moved just far enough beyond that, making vibrant pop music that escapes the clutches of the movement that birthed it. Highly recommended.