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Robots In Disguise CDRobots In Disguise
Get Rid! (President)



Conceptual pop music, doncha just love it? Well, sometimes, I do. Robots In Disguise might have a somewhat shaky schtick (they're not really robots, you know), but they've got a nice line in two-pronged girl vocals and whumping beats, in between which minimal skitters of guitar scatter and play. The drums never cease their robust tub-thump, the bass never stops its implacable pumping. Everything's tied to that four-square beat: it could be mimimalist, but no - it makes far too much noise for that. The rhythm is such a dominant thump-and-rumble, and the Robots' voices, darting about over the top of it all, as excitable as school kids let out to play, make the whole album sound like some kind of heavy dubwize youth club disco. It's actually all rather odd, but endearingly so.

The songs themselves are whimsical workouts, from 'DJ's Got a Gun' (in which an irate tuirntablist, driven to distraction by gormless requests, shoots his punters) to 'Hot Gossip', which seems to be written from the point of view of an aggreived celebrity. That one might be a bit difficult for Johnny Punter to relate to, but it's a jaunty ditty, so we'll overlook the poor-little-rich-girl angst. The old Kinks number 'You Really Got Me' gets a surprisingly faithful rendition, or at least as faithful as RiD's bump 'n' grind will allow, while 'Mirror Mirror', its rhythm chopped up like salad (dig that crazy gated guitar) is a hit single waiting to happen. It's all delightfully breezy and impish: helium-fuelled animated pop tunes that never let the beats and the ever-fizzing effervesence let up. And yet, in some indefinable way, it's all a bit weird. Which is the factor that makes me like it, as you might expect. I'm a sucker for a bit of weird, me, and Robots In Disguise go off the pop piste with such impetuous glee that I can't help digging their thing even if I can't quite put my finger on their wellspring of weirdness. It's as if someone's tried to invent a sprightly pop group and ended up getting it just slightly, delightfully, wrong. Perhaps they really are robots after all.Robots In Disguise









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