Wednesday, 12 March 2014

ROLADEX - ALBUM REVIEW

Roladex - Anthems For The Micro-Age (Medical Records) 
Roladex - Anthems For The Micro-Age

"Knock knock.  Who's there? Roladex. Roladex who? Just Roladex. We're literally not giving you any more information about us. Suck it up." That is essentially the Roladex press release, if they had one, in the form of a knock knock joke. Just because. I have fathomed out a couple of things though; Roladex are a duo made up of one man and one woman who like to create retro sounding synth pop with a minimalist approach. This album opens with 'Anthem For the Micro-Age' and 'Cathode Rays' which are beautifully steeped in Kraftwerk noises and a sense if disinterest in the vocals that the German electro-Gods would be delighted with. Oh wait, I've just found out a bit more, these guys are from Texas and are called Tyler and Elyssa. I feel better now although never would have expected such European sound music to come from Texas - more fool my prejudices. The wonderfully named 'Love Surgery' is pure Gary Numan or early Depeche Mode while 'Blacklit Disco' has a more contemporary feel and you can almost imagine La Roux chirruping over the top of this.

'Empty Streets' is immediately reminiscent of the opening music to some horrible pre-cursor to the Terminator trilogy or a quiet moment in a Mad Max film. Then again, 'Color Channels' could easily be a long lost Human League demo from their pre-fame days and 'Pink Halloween' has a Commodore 64 bass line to die for. For those that love their music full of quirky electro noises and vocals that could be from a robotic source, this pair will appeal hugely but don't expect any big shows of emotion or flamboyance. 'Single Cell City' has a certain 80s charm but I love 'Scan Lines' as it takes me back to a time of simultaneously discovering computer games and the possibilities of keyboards - a magical, 8-bit time. Final track 'Nuke It Out' is not only a great title but also a brilliantly brooding piece of analogue menace with siren wails and Saint Etienne meets Dubstar vocals. This is real Marmite music and you'll either love it or hate it but you should at least give it a go sometime to broaden your horizons if nothing else.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/roladexmusic 

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