Sunday, March 11, 2007

MSTRKRFT "The Looks" (2007)

Death From Above 1979 made a big impact with their 2004 release You're A Woman, I'm A Machine [iTunes], touring with Queens of the Stone Age and conjuring an impressive amount of what music journalists call "buzz." The ride was short-lived-they flamed out and disbanded in 2006-but the gaudy intensity that got everyone so excited lives on with MSTRKRFT, the alter ego of DEA's Jesse F. Keeler. Like an even dafter Daft Punk, The Looks reinterprets the hotel room-thrashing hedonism of Above as flat, French-synth "robot pop." It sounds like fun, and most of the time it is. Keeler's tongue is never far from his cheek, but it's not fully planted either. You never know if he's kidding on songs like "She's Good For Business" and its hokey clap machine. There's no doubt about Keeler's booty-shaking intent elsewhere on the record; "Paris" drives through hedonistic four-on-the-floor rhythms and there's no sitting still during the rollicking chorus of the single "Easy Love" or the fat, bent keyboards of "Neon Nights." The silicone glare of the record is wearying, and eight songs turn out to be more than enough. But open-minded fans of Above who can make the leap into full-on electronic will happily soak it up. [MySpace here] [iTunes here].

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