The Inflatablemen

Machine Age Romance

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Is there such a thing as emotronica? Fortunately not, and thank goodness for that, since the Inflatablemen easily transcend silly tags to deliver a ten-track debut of driving, emotive electronic pop with as many guitar hooks as there are sequencer bridges. Machine Age Romance also plugs quite a few gaps in contemporary music; the opener "Ones and Zeros" has only a few precursors, including the Rentals and, farther back, Devo and the Brian Eno of Here Come the Warm Jets. The quartet keep to the usual theme of futuristic nightmares ("In the Year 2000 and One," "Transit," "Chemical Imbalance," "Simple Life 1, 2, 3"), and tend to overuse the Moog synthesizer (or close equivalents), but there's a lot of imagination on tap throughout this album.

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