The British music press claim this new L.A. band revives the smart dance-rock of early Talking Heads, but Ima Robot’s art pop goes straight from the disco sophistication of Roxy Music to the enervated electronica of Devo without giving the Heads as much as a new wave.
Lead singer Alex Ebert is a skinny guy with a software-designed mullet who spazzes out and bleats lyrics that are mostly about getting dumped, which is understandable: a babe magnet he ain’t. Backed by four studio stalwarts, two of whom are on Beck’s payroll, Ebert is able to show off his considerable pop smarts and even, on occasion, his roots as an MC. In “Black Jettas,” the band’s most famous song (included here as a “secret track”), Ebert raps about being stalked by not one, but two ex-girlfriends driving identical Volkswagens. Bryan Ferry may not be impressed, but you can bet Bret Easton Ellis is. (Philip Brasor)
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