On its first album, the duo known as Hyperbubble went ahead and proved that the breakneck pace of punk could be applied to straight-up synthpop. In the process, Jess and Jeff (who comprise Hyperbubble) crafted an addictive little sugarshot that stuck in your head and never, ever threatened to be taken seriously. Now they’re back, with another pile of tracks known collectively as Airbrushed Alibis, complete with cover art featuring neon rainbows and waterguns. Clearly, not much has changed. The little that has changed, however, is for the better—rather than simply taking ‘80s cheesepop and speeding it up to great effect, the duo has opted for an occasional foray into more sinister territory. Tracks like “Reversible” and the fantastic title track opt for the sparse percussion and synth work of Front 242, while the lyrics drop the ironic style of the more upbeat (read: silly) tracks. Even so, it’s obvious that not too much of a shift has taken place when things like “Rollerboogie Babydoll” (“It’s so exciting I like when we’re skating away! / There’s no escaping the mating call the DJ plays!”) and the delightfully meta “Bonus Track” are the norm. Still, when the end result is as fun as this, who really needs change anyway?
// Notes from the Road
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