Ima Robot

Ima Robot

Ima Robot

Another Man’s Treasure

Echo Park

This is my second Ima Robot experience. Back in 2003 they set out a post-punk pop album, complete with a DRM system that turned me off to the otherwise exciting music. The band has gone through some personal and artistic changes, ditched the high tech gobbledygook, and headed in a new direction. Alex Ebert still leads on vocals with Timmy Anderson on guitar and flutes, but we find newcomer Filip Nikolic plugging it out on bass. The sound is radically different; it now recalls the early days of melodic electronics, sort of like a sweeter version of Gary Numan. Lyrics are involved, “Ruthless” covers religion, love, middle age, and for all I can tell the Tax Reform Act of 1986. In “Rough Night” things are even more spacey and driving, there’s an electro-drone as synthesized water drips in a cave and Ebert chants out his heart. The smell of green printed circuit cards and solder flux fills the air, it’s the over-conditioned air of a server farm and not the wide open spaces of Hobbiton that we’re visiting. “Life is Short” lives on a shadow carousel and “Shine Shine” sounds like one of those obscure ballads ’60s super groups would release on a 45. There’s a dark introspection in this collection, and Ima Robot broods fitfully over each idea. It’s not the same as 2003, but then few of us are in the same head space as we were in 2003. This is music for our cowering new world.

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