Monday, March 03, 2008

Review: Robotique Majestique

Robotique Majestique @
Ghostland Observatory @ MySpace

It's been about a week since I've been listening to Ghostland Observatory's latest album and I must say that it proves the power of electro-rock. Not to say that electro-rock is the only viable form of music right now, but it is the most versatile in terms of song structure, instrumentation and, perhaps most importantly, band composition. When a band can run on one or two people alone that says something about the genre. Some of the best acts from across the pond are two-man acts. But again, this is not to say that electro-rock is a superior genre. What it is, is the genre of the 21st century. I think James Murphy said it best in "Losing My Edge" with the lyric 'I hear that you and your band is throwing out your guitars and buying turntables/I hear you and your band is throwing out your turntables and buying guitars'.
This fusion of pop elements with the electro music of the European dance floors, on perfect display in Ghostland's music, allows for a different sort of thinking about composition and artform. Ghostland has chosen to take some basic punk elements and ditch the guitar parts for thick and heavy synths. The vocals sound almost as if they came from an 80s hair band, but the beat is an Americanized import of Euro beats. Moreover, they have the breakdowns of good dance-floor club bangers that tease the crowd and whip them into a frenzy. And all of this comes from a band from Austin, TX, not NYC, not Canada, not San Franscico, but Texas. How long electro-rock sticks around I really can't say. I think it is reaching a peaking, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The changes and directions electro can take at this point is fairly wide open. But for the moment, Ghostland Observatory captures the spirit of electro without feeling contrived or over-produced. They deserve your attention and, yes, money. Go see a show if you can, or even buy one of the albums.

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