Monday, October 16, 2006

Ima Robot: Monument to the Masses (Virgin)
release: September 12, 2006
styles: hand clappy electro dance rock
similar: Public Image Limited, Hot Hot Heat, the Futureheads, the Bravery. rating: ****

According to the press release, record labels who originally took interest in the fun, peppy Ima Robot didn't know what to do with them. It's unexpected that Virgin is still holding on to them, given that they don't sell anywhere near a million records. Ima Robot, after rocking people's socks off while touring with the Raveonettes, seemed destined to move to a small indie label despite a debut with more energy than most of Virgin's current roster. The band--who have since modified its line-up--were quiet long enough to think they were now waiting tables at the local hipster restaurant. So it's with happy happy joy that the Los Angeles group finally got around to releasing another record with dance-party written all over it. Although "Creeps Me Out" is the first single, opener "Disconnect" is as lively and memorable as the debut record's "Alive." Even though some of Monument to the Masses (not to be confused with Depeche Mode's Music for the Masses) contains just a couple lyrical themes we've heard enough times, Ima Robot has so much punky spunk that it never ever is an issue. After the slower, romancing "Lovers in Captivity," Monument proves to be a worthwhile sophomore effort that is able to replicate the excitement of the debut. Let's hope Virgin records is good to them. -Kenyon

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