|Photo by Dale Merrill|
When I saw them live the first time a few weeks back that exact thing came to mind. But only for a minute or so though. The similarities were that the songs didn't feel the need over stay their welcome or use too many chords, making the experiences ping-pong between jarring, hypnotic and jittery. The band gave off a huge looming mood of detachment. The kind of detachment where if it wasn't for a couple wisecracks mumbled to the crowd you'd be totally convinced that the band, save for finding joy in the fact that they may be damaging some people's hearing, would rather be anywhere else than playing for a crowd. The "space" part of the impression came from the monophonic doot-doot-doots and blurts that hissed out of an old Korg.
Where most bands of that certain ilk though came off reserved on stage, with all straight faces, utilitarian look and mostly standing in place (it's all probably an English thing) is where thoughts those thoughts where kicked away. Cigarettes tucked behind a few ears, the bass player donning a shirt that looks like he raided from an uncle who wore it in his new wave band from the 1980's and some unhingedness that had a a few people jumping out of the way when the singer went into the crowd, writhing on the floor and eventually even UNDER the stage. It's more was like these guys spent really too much time studying Wire it was while navigating Michigan's streets of cracks and potholes in a rattly rust bucket in search of place to yell at the sky, it was less time than Wire did studying Dadaism.
Mechanical becomes maniacal on "Robot Creation." If it's intention was to bridge the some sort of Motor City past to a dystopian future is anyone's guess. The way the song skids and squeals though, the main concern should be not if but when it's going to go all out of control, fly into a million pieces and taking bystanders down with it.
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