With their third EP, Southall Riot journeys further into their now trademark lo-fi space rock universe and returns with an offering of songs that are alien but familiar all at the same time. Song numero uno, the irresistibly titled "Kiss Me Robot I Love You," finds the band playing with an air of confidence that was a little less apparent on past releases. Calling to mind an avant mix of Turtles and Enon, the song is led by a rocked-out, stomping rhythm set by almost oriental-sounding keyboards and peppered with heavy-echo vocals and sound effects that, given the song title, sound a bit like a robot overheating (as sometimes happens in old cartoons and B-sci-fi flicks). The instrumental "Summerhill" sounds quite strikingly like "Fashion 500" and "For My Beloved," both of which are instrumentals by the late, great 1990s Ohio freak rock outfit, Brainiac. The similarities being uncanny, one can only reason that the song is meant as an insider joke or tribute to the band, or perhaps Southall Riot has happily managed to channel the late Timmy Taylor via Ouija board or cosmic theremin. Either way, it is a successful, droning, moody piece. "Groove Is in the Art" thankfully forgoes the implied Deee-Lite-isms and is instead a brief instrumental track composed primarily of a looped string bend and clicking à la Newton's Cradle. Another of the Riot's shining dream pop gems, with a pogoing bassline, "Mrs. Gold" is what the Monkees would have sounded like had they been a lo-fi indie rock band instead of prefab puppets (early on). (This is a compliment. Truly.) The entire flip side of the vinyl is a single song odyssey called "Jetstream," which unabashedly displays the band's love of Pink Floyd -- the exciting, trippy old stuff, not the latter wave of David Gilmour-as-Pink Floyd drivel. A persistent beep reminiscent of a heart monitor replaces the stereotypically Floyd-ian clock tick, and waves of sound build and layer and then fade out in an enthralling progression not unlike the sonic equivalent of a lunar tide cycle. This band should have been superstars long before now. What's going on?
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AllMusic Review by Karen E. Graves