The mad musings of Brainiac's
John Schmersal and Skeleton Key's Rick Lee and Steve Calhoon has a beating heart under a
thick mucilage of distorto electronica.
For a CD that's only about a half-hour long, you get five really solid tracks out of
11. It's unfortunate that "Rubber Car," with its Beck-style falsetto, leads off.
I realize that Schmersal did something like this first with Brainiac, but this sounds like
it's right off Midnight Vultures and is no way indicative of things to come.
"Conjugate the Verbs," lulls you in with its tree-frog-like synths and
Schmersal's nerdy vocals before it bludgeons you about the head and shoulders with
pounding drums and bass like a clumsy, stumbling drunk. "Believo!" is a sleek,
black Mercury cruising the strip at midnight, looking for trouble or a good jazz club.
"Come Into" sounds like an old World Party song forced through an electronic
food processor, sweet and distorted with a solid, shuffly beat. "Get the Letter
Out" and "World in a Jar" have that Sunday-in-the-park British chime-pop
feel a la XTC's Oranges & Lemons -- pretty straight forward, if a bit boring.
The rest relies a wee bit too much on samples, found sounds and percussion in an effort
to raise your eyebrows, resulting in a mish-mash of noise that takes away from the basic
melodies. Time: 32:46.