Bagging Up the House: Bag Raiders, Bag Raiders.

House can refer to many things. It could be a home, or a melodramatic TV series centred on medical dross and exaggeration, or an archaic term for royal families etc etc etc. In the case of Modular duo Bag Raiders it's their euphoric lifeblood, pumping vigorously in synchronicity with the iTunes equaliser as they attempt to prise the house crown from current monarchs of the genre, the Swedish House Mafia. Yet whilst the Swedes conjure sterile, synth-laden hooks hefty enough to drown every last Balearic Island in the Med, Chris Stracey and Jack Glass' eponymous debut seethes an emotion usually all but illusory in house. From disco to soul, funk to Chicago synthpop, Bag Raiders cover every base as bongos transfuse the unabashed rapture of Not Over. Opener Castles In The Air is arms aloft anthemia to rival Fedde Le Grand with more layers than a Royal Wedding cake taken to town by Heston Blumenthal, whilst Shooting Stars is pure '90s synth sleaze, equal parts ATB, Bangalter and Five, and incontrovertibly works. So Demanding sounds like a night on East Coast tiles with Jake Shears getting the shots in periodically, every twenty seconds as the floor starts to swirl and inhibitions twirl with synthetic falsetto, whilst Prelude could be perceived as La Ritournelle pt. II over frenetic drums and a myriad of keyboard gushes. Sunlight is altogether more pastiche, a pseudo-ballad revolving around "beaming" puns and impetuous impersonation. Similarly, Snake Charmer thuds away in unadulterated cliché, yet somehow, subconsciously beguiles with vibrant percussion and a flute refrain capable of inducing animation in the most arthritic of limbs. From here on in expectations are adhered to, the sonically despondent Way Back Home haberdashed haphazardly onto the tail end of the record and the exhausting Human League-indebted Golden Wings dragging the Bag Raiders down an echelon or two, down from the paradisiacal realms in which the duo's debut often resides.