Attractive and Popular

Money Equals Magic

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With a name like Attractive and Popular, an album title like Money Equals Magic, and songs named "We're So Pretty" (not to mention the band's matching, sequined, dollar-sign emblazoned outfits), it's clear that this group wants to ruffle feathers. After all, attractiveness and popularity are two of the most envy-inspiring traits around, especially in the supposedly misfit world of indie rock. The band rubs its young, privileged and snotty attitude in the faces and ears of listeners on Money Equals Magic, but they usually play it for easy, ironic laughs instead of deeper subversiveness (although the title track's eerie synths and lyrics like "who will I buy?" suggest a glimmer of social commentary). "Rang Rang," "Microchip Blowup" and "Eagle Scream" are brash, bratty, textbook examples of dance-punk, with lots of shouting, squalling keyboards and spiky guitars and basslines. They're also so short -- Money Equals Magic's longest song, "Sononon," clocks in at a brisk two-and-a-half minutes -- that even the most repetitive tracks don't stick around long enough to be truly annoying. Actually, if the band tried to make their songs longer, it probably wouldn't work: "Crack Farm," which uses the familiar organ riff played at baseball games as a starting point for its chaos, is an aptly named jolt of fun at just over 30 seconds. Attractive and Popular isn't particularly radical, but Money Equals Magic's herky-jerky, awkwardly catchy songs are good for a few moments' fun.

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