80kidz / This Is My Shit / April 15, 2009
02. Go Mynci / 07. She / 12. Frankie
The Japan Times Online said that “the haphazard “Fait la Danse,” which sounds like a poor stab at mid-’90s techno, derails the album’s momentum,” but in fact, the momentum of this album is in jeopardy quite earlier; around track three, actually. While “Go Mynci” leads the listener into a slow, balanced composite of the robots you’ll likely find swirling around on This Is My Shit (a poor title for any album released anytime, anywhere), “Flying Buttress” tries slightly too hard please; in a world of Justices and MSTRKRFTs, all (disc) jockeying to be purveyors of nuevo-electro (you first heard that here, by the way), it’s becoming increasingly important to hone the skills already available to you, for where could electro possibly, really, go next? You could stir in some organic instruments, Auto-Tune the shit out of some vocals, and create some sort of elaborate character for your stage show, but even Daft Punk could show you it’s all about the melody; the same one that will repeat over and over again for at least three minutes of what could quickly become aural laceration in the wrong hands.
An uninspired (lazy) deejay could easily push play on 80kidz and let the audience take care of the rest, but the real standout tracks have a good beat but can’t necessarily be danced to and take a serious listen to mine. “She,” a lovely hybrid of melancholy and amour, is clearly the album’s love song and the addition of a haunting piano and guitar loop make the track really pop, particularly when the album takes a breather to let the piano do its MIDI-inspired solo. The following track, “Miss Mars,” is another song with a slower tempo that gains speed as the track hobbles along, repetitive as any child handed a kazoo. “Yellow Rambler” brings a chunky sound to the album that works to the band’s disadvantage; the track “Disdrive (Rework)” attempts the same formula, but the sheer amount of things happening leads the titular melody to get lost somewhere in all the overcompressed noise. Attempts at hip hop (“Frankie”), where instrumentation is kept simple and more low-key, is where 80kidz really flourish, giving the instrumentation ample space to roam.
For a debut album, This Is My Shit shows more than enough stamina in the world of electro, though its seemingly positive (sixteen whole tracks!) is also a negative (sixteen freaking long tracks). The album would probably have worked best if it was a non-stop mix with each track kept at a bearable level for what eventually accumulates as a lot of key-melody repitition; “Getting You Off” is a great song, but at 5:28, it can lose even its most devoted listener. While 80kidz may not have invented anything new in the genre, they’ve certainly show they’re capable of mimicking the best to their advantage.