Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review: Deep Dark Robot “8 Songs About A Girl”

Deep Dark Robot is an L.A.-based duo comprised of singer/songwriter Linda Perry and drummer Tony Tornay (Fatso Jetson). Described as “French garage pop”, the latest EP “8 Songs About A Girl” is exactly what the title suggests. Subtlety and riddles are not what Deep Dark Robot is about. As Perry says, “Deep Dark Robot is an artificial agent trying to be human. Aren’t we all just trying to be human?” Tornay adds, “The more people become isolated by technology, the more that technology begins to feel.” OK then...

If the lyrics are reflective of what humanity is like, Perry is not providing much incentive to become human. This is a dark and angry record plagued with redundant riffs and mundane melodies, assuming you can find a melody at all. Of course you don’t expect an abrasive record to be bright and poppy, but you can still use other tactics to make the songs memorable besides a monotonous riff. The other setback are the blunt and inane lyrics – yeah, you’ve been burned, we get it – but even teenagers can come up with something more poetic than “F*** you, stupid bitch”. With more F bombs than Eddie Murphy’s “Raw”, the record comes across as juvenile, bereft of grace and artistry.

Perry’s vocals are muscular and gritty, and she can wail with the best of them – reminds me a bit of Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blonde). “I’m Coming For You!” has a promising start – bit of a retro groove a la Jet, but the riff is overplayed and the lack of dynamics makes you tire of it too soon. The best track is “No One Wakes Me Up Like You Do”, a beautiful song that reveals the tender side of Perry’s voice before it climaxes into the husky growl. Everything is firing on all cylinders during this song and I wish there were more like it. “Can’t Getcha Out Of My Mind” shares that classic rock vibe and boasts a decent chorus, but the pedestrian verses prevent this song from rising to greatness. Another flash of brilliance appears on “Speck”, which features some gorgeous piano and a refreshingly understated yet heartfelt vocal delivery.

iPOD-worthy: 2, 7

Deep Dark Robot on MySpace. Official site.

Listen to “No One Wakes Me Up Like You Do”