Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr In the immortal words of Q-Tip, “Don’t you know that things go in cycles?” Music, like fashion, is largely cyclical. Look no further than the persistent garage and psych rock revivals of the last few years and you’ll find plenty of long-dormant subgenres that finally see a resurgence in the age of internet deep-dives into unremembered past lives (see: the Daft Punk-inspired revival of Chic as a cool band). Disco was a bright-burning candle that was largely crushed by the weight of ‘70s toxic masculinity manifesting in anti-disco sentiments—outside of the pearl-clutchers who have labelled metal as “Satanic” since Black Sabbath hit the scene, can you think of any other genre that has inspired anything like Disco Demolition Night?—but our (now less homophobic) love of dance music, combined with our love of reviving those subgenres, has led to plenty of bands stirring a gentle resurgence of the genre. That’s where Brooklyn two-piece Holy Ghost!—and their third full-length, Work—comes in. Though they’ve been dormant since 2013’s Dynamics, the world of dance music hasn’t changed as much as one would like; we’re still driven by the same bass urges that we were when the band formed. Holy Ghost! has departed from James Murphy’s dance-loving DFA in favor of the legendary West End Records, who—and this is important—have not released a new LP in 30 years. Work is shinier, but it fits right into the music of disco’s heyday, a rush of immaculate-sounding, booty-shaking beats that force you into a state of permanent groove for its entirety. If you’re into that sort of thing, Work is a wholly fun album. Designed for summer parties and as pump-up music for pre-date psych-ups, Holy Ghost! has come back with a solid slab of dance music. The two-part “Epton on Broadway” sets the tone for the album, a wash of gorgeously-produced synth and bass funkery. Close inspection of the record finds that they rarely stray from this, though they do find deeper grooves in sections like the mellow “Heaven Knows What,” or the funky “Nicky Buckingham.” Later, on “Soon,” they time-jump ahead to deliver surprisingly-tasteful new wave pastiche that sounds alarmingly close to something Quincy Jones might have made for Michael Jackson, a refreshing shift away from the unfiltered dance textures that surround it. Unfortunately, Work falls into the classic synthpop trap of coming off a little, well, vacuous. This isn’t to say any of it is bad—their brand of ‘70s/’80s dance-pop is absurdly fun, but there’s not one song that stands out above the rest. As a result, Work sounds like the extended soundtrack to a summer teen rom-com, or at best, a band attempting to emulate the atmosphere of one of Italians Do It Better’s After Dark compilations. This is, frankly, a total drag, and judging by the lyrics of “Epton on Broadway Pt. 1,” they know it: “There’s nothing really left to say… Well if you want, if you want, we’ll stay” might be Alex Frankel’s glimpse inside romantic stagnation, but it feels fitting for an album this rudderless. Work is a portrait of a fun band stuck in a creative rut created by dance-pop, unable to grow and shift in tone due to the limitations of the genre. And, what’s worse, they do nothing to sound unique at all; it feels like any synth band could have made Work, and that’s a bad sign. Not every band can be Talking Heads or LCD Soundsystem, able to make whip-smart, cerebral therapy-core that demands you sing-shout along. Work isn’t interested in progress or dynamics, and the band seems happy to stay in a single mood for the album’s full runtime—one that’s fun to dance to but boring to actually focus on for more than a listen or two.