A horrible hack



Year Released: 2004
Format: 7"
Label: Narshardaa
Reviewed by Alex Deller on Jun 13, 2007
What with the band name and the rather dour grey/blue colour scheme oddly reminiscent of Channel 4’s early morning you-are-drunk-and-have-fallen-asleep-in-front-of-the-television testcard I have to say that I had a fair idea of how this was going to start before the record was even out of the sleeve. 80s influenced tomfoolery along the lines of the Sick Lipstick, Deerhoof, Electralane and whoever else makes music that sounds like white styrofoam mannequins wearing dark sunglasses, gyrating against keyboards and singing songs about smoking cigarettes.

Side one starts with what sounds like a siren and some sternly intoned female vocals, a song that could well be the soundtrack to a jailbreak scene in some Teutonic version of Prisoner Cell Block H. The other three tunes continue in similar fashion: clunky keyboards, dancey basslines, impersonal school ma’am vocals and a ready supply of Tardis-in-flight sound effects. The tune ‘Tetris’ is probably Amtrak’s finest moment here, an atmospheric ditty with some neat crashing keyboards at the chorus, all whilst a tortured Gameboy wails in the background. Vaguely catchy, almost interesting and leaving me with the notion that maybe I should’ve paid more attention to my German lessons, as being able to order a boiled sausage with potato salad does not particularly avail me here. Conclusions: nothing too special, and ultimately a record that easily falls within the “meh” category.

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