Album review

Ima Robot : Ima Robot
Virgin Records

Ima Robot : Ima RobotThis is rather bizarre; Ima Robot obviously realise they are a robot, but seem to be somewhat unsure about their sound. Electronic blips and bleeps fly around my ears, while front man Alex Ebert bangs on about something breaking "the fucking mould" - it has to be said that it's all very interesting. Amidst this is the classic garage rock sound that has seen most bands with 'The' attached to their names fly to the top of the musical agenda recently. Having said that, this album sounds somewhat removed from the typical bland selection of 'The' bands around at present - you know, the ones with long hair who wear scarves even during the kind of heat wave that makes people further up the road look like the reflection from a circus mirror.

Dynomite kicks off the proceedings with an awesome bass line and a bridge teasingly reminiscent of early Green Day. Thrown in for good measure is a cheeky little guitar riff that sits in the background and chips in every now and then, not dissimilar to an annoyingly talkative relative. Something else almost instantly distinguishable is Alex Ebert's enjoyment of making a series of bizarre noises, the likes of which run right the way through this self-titled debut and range from those comparable to a dog being put down to the sound of a man seemingly in the throws of passion. The tracks certainly have bite, as well as a sense of random spontaneity - I certainly didn't foresee the momentary pause in rock 'n' roll goings on that signals the entrance of slow and smooth number Scream.
    The first comparison that popped into my head was The Cooper Temple Clause which, judging by the UK prog-rockers recent form, is somewhat of a compliment. However, if Ima Robot do indeed sound like The Cooper Temple Clause, then they've evidently been spiked with ridiculous amounts of energy-inducing Ritalin; either that, or a large stone hammer to the cranium, which actually isn't too far from being feasible given the array of yelping sounds. Moving onwards, we are offered the porno-funk rock of Dirty Life, with lyrics that should certainly be kept away from your gran, and the electro-squelch verses and rolling chorus of the curiously titled Let's Talk Turkey.

The only drawback that the album presents is its restricted accessibility. It is quite hard, especially with such a strange variety of noises, to immediately dive into an album this complex. The expending of a little time and effort, however, is repaid with an appreciative outlook on a sound so fresh it almost guarantees future fame for Ima Robot. Rocking, energy-riddled enthusiasm and solid tunes mean that this could well be bound for something a bit special . . . just hopefully not scarves in hot weather.

:: Graham Drummond

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