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Velcro Mary

 

Frantic Mantis: Data Is Not Information
[Lujo]

Datapunk ‘eh? Thus dawns a new era in rock (or another page in electronica?) toted and self-proclaimed by Lujo Records. Hmm. I kind of like it, as it has a good ring to it; though I couldn’t accept that there’s no genre already termed this. That’s why we have Google, and the authorities there say there’s only a heavy electronica label out of Germany called Datapunk, and that’s all! Accepted.

 Well, if this is what is now to be known to the ever-merging world of rock’n’rollers and tweakers as the new revolution of DataPunk, then I suppose the Refused are now proto-datapunk! And everyone knows that the coolest, hippest bands are the protos. What we have here is an awkward, though happy marriage from the fusing of the punk rock teens with the ambient, spacey electro-rock thirty-somethings. The style harkens back to the ethos of early Dischord harDCore, a bit through a Hot Snakes, raw, gut-driven sound on to ambient space-outs. Only in a few places is the melding of electronic and heavily distorted guitars obviously noticeably, and more apparent are the in-between song sonic soundscapes.

Now don’t let the term datapunk fool you. We’re not getting into synth-style punk pop, such as that of Dirtnap Records; we’re more so talking heavy effects peddles and chaos pads – blips, bleeps, soundwaves and Trans Am producers. Even a cameo made by what sounds like an airplane fasten-seatbelts ding rears its baby teeth. Nervousness and paranoia abound in this release. In the lyrics, human emotion is broken down into cold, meticulous actions and thoughts, streamlining into a computer-mind concept – apocalyptic and lumped in with the Lost Sounds’ mindset. At least this is what I gather and it makes the term DataPunk much more relevant.

Honestly, I didn’t care for the electronic pieces as much as I did the driven songs, but the collected minds of one Frodus member mixed with two Division of Laura Lee members makes for a nicely heavy and exciting album. Dark, cold, intricate and patterned, this album IS true DataPunk. Each listen is more interesting.

-Chaz Martenstein
12/12/05

Check Amazon, Insound and CD Universe to purchase this album.

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