» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Ima Robot
Ima Robot
Virgin Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
How many ex-Beck backing band members does it take to make a mediocre electro-rock band that latches onto the current trends of hipster music with tepid results? Well, two, actually - Joey Waronker (drums) and Justin Meldal-Johnson (bass). Add young ones Alex Ebert (vocals), Oligee (keyboards), and Timmy the Terror (guitar) and you have L.A.'s Ima Robot. The band has had some recent attention appearing on some late, late night talk shows and touring with Hot Hot Heat, who at times they shamelessly ape, as on the 80's pop ballad "Alive" and "Dirty Life," which sounds like a B-side from Makeup the Breakdown. Ebert's voice is shakey and whiney in the fashion of so many 80's icons; Robert Smith, Thomas Dolby, the guy from Simple Minds, et al. The guitar sounds are effected heavily for the most part, keyboards take a starring role, and the production is tinny and professional on their self-titled debut. There is nothing to really compel here, as Ima Robot come across as more of a flash-in-the-pan styled hipster's wet dream than anything substantive. Their pedigree offers them style and talent but nothing creatively groundbreaking. "Here Come the Bombs" is catchy and cutesy-electronic, but do we really need another self-referential song about bands and success and merchandising? The aforementioned "Dirty Lives" is definitely one of the standout tracks on the record, with its catchy pop-anthem melody, even while its sex-fueled lyrics are faux-shockingly explicit. There are so many retro-rockers out right now, and the 80's have become our generations 60's; only the drugs were different, the love was riskier and the musical styles more tech-savvy. Ima Robot do their best to blend sonic themes of the Reagan era to the means and tastes of the post-millennium, but their ideas are just not that good. Their reach backwards lacks innovation or motivation.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker



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