The first half of this album fairly pops off the player; the music is well designed to catch the ear of those of us who have never quite gotten over our starter course of new wave fever. Best of all, Stimulator — singer Susan Hyatt and multi-instrumentalist Geoff Tyson — seems to care about the same things we care about.
Really, this is the kind of CD where the good is balanced by the bad — but also vice/versa. Lyrics are nothing to write home about, but there are no obvious clunkers either. Hyatt’s voice never checks into the melancholic nostalgia of, say, Martha Davis. (See, because her last name is Hyatt, and Davis was the lead singer of The Motels, and … oh, never mind). Neither is it ever as screechy as Dale Bozzio’s if-Cyndi Lauper-mated-with-a-chipmunk vocals. But it doesn’t come as a surprise to read that Stimulator has been opening for bands like Bozzio’s Missing Persons. They have a similarly quirky thing going on pretty good.
What they don’t have is enough music living up to their name to fill what used to be called two sides of an album. But they’re still a good alternative to the likes of Avril Lavigne, with an aesthetic set around five years (dear god) before Lavigne was born.
The guitared-up cover of Olivia Newton John’s “Magic” seals the deal, but early clues are to be found in band originals like “Feelin’ Alright”: They’re still waiting for the ants invasion.
Now, that’s what I call music.