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PopMatters Music Short Takes
our brief reviews of new releases
23 September 2003
Ima Robot, Public Access (Virgin UK)
With the recent wave of new wave revivalists, including such bands as Hot Hot Heat, Longwave, Interpol, The Rapture, and Elefant, you can be sure to see many, many similar bands come out, as major labels try to milk the trend for all it's worth. Los Angeles band Ima Robot are one of those new bands, but they're one that just might rise up above all the rest. They've got all the goods: an energetic, charismatic singer in Alex Ebert, a couple of seasoned veteran musicians in bassist Justin Meldal-Johnson (Beck, Air) and drummer Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M.), and a great sense of adventure. Their debut single, Public Access, hints at some real potential, as they mine the best sounds of the early '80s, from Television to The Cars to OMD. The exuberant "12=3 (Here Come the Doctors)", which also appears on their upcoming debut full-length, has Ima Robot combining electronic tones with a fuzzed-out Cure sound, as Ebert's exuberant, nasal wail makes the song all the more fun. "Black Jettas" has a funked-up Gary Numan, don't-say-electroclash feel (an update of "Cars", perhaps?), and "Sex Symbols on Parade" is more straightforward punk, but the real winner on this little EP is "The Beat Goes On", which does the '80s pop thing so brilliantly (think Joy Division going new romantic), it would be a perfect fit in a John Hughes movie. Whether they can make this sound work for an entire album remains to be seen, but for now, this superb single is a very promising start.
.: posted by Editor 12:54 PM