As a member of bis for many, many years, Sci-Fi Steven had a hand in making some of the best dance-punk-pop around. Noisy, scrappy, and hooky as can be, all their records were scattershot blasts of colorful energy and fun. With his solo project Batteries, Steven opts to focus his sound with a laser-like intensity on the sweet spot where Gary Numan and the Damned meet. Is it synthy pop with choppy, whiplash tight guitars, or tough-as-nails punk with spacy synths? Either way you cut it, the record is song after song of punchy, poppy, sharp-as-knives pop. There are far more guitars than on bis albums, far less randomness, and a more coherent approach throughout. Sure, it may lack the surprise a bis album might have, but it makes up for that with some amazingly catchy songs and Steven's boundless enthusiasm. The album is a romp from beginning to end, with potential singles like the title track and the herky-jerky, Devo-ish "Straight to Video" matched up with raging rockers ("Suicide Everything," "London"), rollicking pop that sounds like a pretension-free Blur fed through a machine ("Wah! Kinder"), and short, sharp, punky pop songs you know the other guys are wishing he'd saved for bis ("Flashbacks" being the most obvious). It makes for a breathless listening experience, sort of like watching a movie that's all action scenes, but Steven does such a good job of varying the tone and sounds just enough to keep it from rushing past and not making any impact. The huge hooks are sure to snag listeners, as will the spiky guitar riffs and weezy bursts of synth. Definitely, anyone who liked, or still likes, bis will really like Batteries. Expanding out from there, anyone who likes spiky, spunky, new wave inspired with the energy of now should really get a charge out of Batteries and this excellent debut.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra