Thursday, January 24, 2008

CMJ reviews Team Robespierre's "Everything's Perfect!"

huge thanks to Eric Davidson and the entire CMJ staff!

TEAM ROBESPIERRE: Everything's Perfect
By Eric Davidson

There is little doubt that this Brooklyn band makes for a fine, sweaty night out at your local DIY venue. Electric energy and noggin-conked execution pops out of every tune. But the personality needed to sustain all that ga-ga past the initial inspiration may be hard to pin down, even for the band itself. What can you do when a genre—here it's spazzy post-post-Gang Of Fugazi demi-dance punk—starts to spill over its rim? One shouldn't blame a band for the band-a-minute era it lives in.

Luckily, there is force in Team Robespierre's sound. "Laika" leaps forward on the requisite, but still skuzzy, analog synths and gang chants. The Dr. Dre keys on "Gasoline," cowbell on "Ha Ha Ha," not to mention all the vigorous, mostly snare-only drumming throughout, means they're already beyond the usual angular art-punk postulates. And these guys wear brevity (10 songs, 18 minutes) as well as a suave, skeezy Frenchman in Speedos.

But it would behoove acts like this to investigate where Gang Of Four got their name from and at least attempt lyrical intent. They do seem to have something against pitbulls in "88th Precinct." And in "Ha Ha Ha" singer Rex's chop-chant brazenly declares, "every politician is a liar" while simultaneously admitting, "I just want to be a heartthrob," though each of those statements contains the surprise quotient of the announcement of a new C-list celebrity reality show on VH1. If Team Robespierre is playing your town the night such a show premieres, DVR that bitch.

Tracklist For Everything's Perfect:
01. Laika
02. Black Rainbow
03. 88th Precinct
04. Ha Ha Ha
05. Mal De Mer
06. Solid Gold
07. Death Smells
08. Gasoline
09. Big Deal
10. Plutonium Pigs