As empowering as it is for bedroom music-makers, the inexpensive analog synth/drum machine methodology doesn’t offer much in the way of range, and as far as pop music goes it’s rarely even made it to the living room. Adult., an electronica duo from Detroit, added a guitarist last year and though Sam Consiglio’s fretwork on the group’s new album, “Gimmie Trouble,” is slight, it seems to have made the band rethink its priorities.
Comprised of short, snappy songs, the record generates genuine momentum despite a marked lack of melody and variances in tone. Nicola Kuperus appropriates the robotlike vocal style pioneered by Lene Lovich and PiL-era John Lydon but uses it the way Devo or the B-52s did, as a means of commenting on the automaton nature of pop. As pointed out in the clanky “Disappoint the Youth,” Adult. is as uncool as those two earlier bands made themselves out to be. The difference is that they became cool in the process, while Adult. remains stridently dorky. The band’s name, with its purposeful full stop, is a rebuke of pop stereotypes, but “Gimmie Trouble” is a lively, challenging record that anyone can dance to. You add the irony.