Song of the Day: The Rapture “House of Jealous Lovers”
New York post-punk revivalists, The Rapture, are one of the group’s to emerge from the movement that flourished in the mid-2000s still sounding relatively fresh. Combining angular Bauahaus-inspired guitar riffing with house, electronic and nu-disco elements, the group existed on a razor’s edge between discordant avante-garde and pure dance pop. On their 2003 standout single “House of Jealous Lovers”, the band pull off this tightrope act admirably and as such, are one of the few groups that would likely have been welcomed by ravers and punk rockers equally. Of The Rapture‘s peers from this era, only !!! and The Electric Six really went for the jugular when it came to bringing dance to post-punk, and arguably neither did it quite as well as The Rapture. While Interpol certainly achieved greater cultural penetration, they lacked that same pure dance impulse. The Rapture always seemed to hint at a future musical movement wherein previously difficult music could be refashioned into something that was both still challenging but also could stand up to even the sweatiest of dance floor pressure. Above all, the band embodied a moment in time where musically, anything seemed possible.
“House of Jealous Lovers” is a great dance song filled with jagged shards of guitar, a disco-pulse of a bassline, enough cowbell to make Bruce Dickinson smile, bouncy drums and screamed vocals. Indeed, the dance impulse served The Rapture so well, they even bizarrely managed to appear on Letterman, turning in a taut but completely frenetic performance.
Despite the hype around “House of Jealous Lovers” and a warm write-up of their sophomore album Echoes by indie taste-makers Pitchfork and elsewhere, The Rapture‘s time never really came. The group pushed further into the house/ dance direction, smoothing some of their rougher edges while retaining the rampant energy that made “House of Jealous Lovers” such a great song, but to many, never really recaptured that lightning in a bottle. While reviews stayed mostly positive for their subsequent work, the band returned to languishing in obscurity. The Rapture finally called it quits in 2014 after their critically well-received Danger Mouse-produced 2011 album, In Grace Of Your Love, failed to chart. Perhaps they will one day re-emerge to shake up dance floors all over again. For now, you can party like it’s 2003 all over again with this track.