Poni Hoax delivered an impressive debut: catchy songs and entertaining arrangements wrapped in a group sound that is very hard to pigeonhole. Some media have mentioned the "mutant disco" trend, and there is some basis for that, but the music of these five young Frenchmen touches on more than one genre. It is resolutely French -- in the humor, melodies and self-sufficient attitude -- with Air, Arno, and Ludwig von 88 as reference points, but it also has the English Dandy aura of Roxy Music, David Bowie, or even Morrissey. The synth bass from early-'80s disco provides the album's backbone and its tie to the Tigersushi label's aesthetics. Besides that, arrangements stretch out everywhere. Some songs are irresistibly poppy, like the first single "She's on the Radio," "Carrie Ann," or "Cheerleader in My Dreams," but other tracks get raw, trashy and dirty, like the bold "Drunks and Painters on Parade" or the thumping "L.A. Murder Motel." Olga Kouklaki has a guest singer spot in "Budapest," particularly dancefloor-friendly, while Ami Sioux gets to sing the last song, "Le Fil du Temps," the only disappointing track, with its weak vocal delivery and quaint melody. That one aside, the quality level never falls down, as each track introduces a new atmosphere -- no duplicates, no filler material, only fun, intelligent, unique whatever-pop. Lead singer Nicolas Ker gets extra points for his mock-seductive ténébreux tone.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture