LCD Soundsystem, Brixton Academy, London

4.00

On the Beastie Boys' 1998 song "Unite" they declare, "We're the scientists of sound, we're mathematically putting it down" (it's one of the more pointy-headed boasts in rap history). These lines, though, could easily be assigned to fellow New Yorker and sonic adventurer James Murphy, producer behind the DFA label and mastermind of LCD Soundsystem.

During the band's first song, "Us V Them", he strolls around the stage, microphone in hand, throwing out lyrics while hitting buttons, tweaking sounds coming from various machines and gesturing to people off stage to amend certain other noises.

In the first song it emerges that band member Nancy Whang's keyboard isn't working. Despite the apparent trouble, the song sounds fine, but Murphy, being something of a perfectionist, decides to go for a second take: he skips off stage momentarily and then returns, recreating his stage entrance as the band kicks off with "Us V Them" part two; and indeed, the sound is more complete.

Recently turned 40 and slightly bulkier than your average skinny-jeaned frontman, Murphy is the somewhat unlikely focal point of events and yet he is a rather magnetic presence, shimmying and tossing out miniature dance moves in time to the music, while the rest of the band around him are virtually static.

Exercising restraint and recognising the potential for stilted crowd reactions in the face of a slew of unfamiliar new material, they only play three songs from their new, third, album, This Is Happening, which is released next month. The opening single, "Drunk Girls", follows in the same vein as the lead singles from their previous two records, "Daft Punk is Playing at my House" and "North American Scum", in being fast, frenetic and throwaway fun (the latter is a surprise omission from the night's proceedings).

The standout of the new songs is "I Can Change"; it unfolds in a burr of blips and beats slowly working themselves out, underscored by Murphy's lyrics, nicely combining the sardonic and the plaintive.

This is the manner of the best songs from the band's back catalogue, "All My Friends" and "Someone Great" from 2007's acclaimed Sound of Silver LP, and the band's debut single, "Losing My Edge", all of which are showcased. The latter in particular is blasted through with noisy aplomb – and despite being eight years old, still feels fresh. It hasn't lost its edge. While it is a shame that some of the memorable lyrics are lost to the sound smudge, the PA troubles are nonetheless powerless to dent these songs' impact. 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, seated next to a picture of his missing wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene

Friends 20th anniversary
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham

books
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey

There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits