Speaker Junkies

Tekno Punk

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    7
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Some album titles are quite descriptive of their contents, while others can be anything from misleading to ironic to rhetorical. Tekno Punk is, for the most part, an accurate description of this CD by Southern California's Speaker Junkies. The album isn't strictly a fusion of techno and punk; Tekno Punk doesn't sound like Black Flag or the Sex Pistols by way of a rave, and trance -- which is not the same as techno -- is a big part of Speaker Junkies' hi-tech recipe. But their electronica does have a punky attitude quite often -- at least on most of the vocal numbers -- as well as a strong appreciation of hip-hop. This is a disc that will appeal to Prodigy fans more often than not, which isn't to say that everything on Tekno Punk is Prodigy influenced. In fact, the Prodigy influence doesn't kick in until the fourth track "Detonator"; the first three tracks are instrumentals that combine techno and trance and lack an actual song structure. It is the album's vocal offerings, more than the instrumentals, that make Tekno Punk a generally accurate title, with vocal offerings that range from punky, hip-hop-ish Speaker Junkies originals like "Blow Yo Mind," "Outerspace," "Give It to Me Hard," and "Tekno Slut" to a memorable cover of Berlin's "The Metro" (which features vocalist Molly Mahoney [aka Miss Mo]). One of the album's least in-your-face offerings is the lush, enjoyably dreamy "Leap of Faith," which also features Mahoney and is best described as trance-pop; the tune doesn't sound anything like "Detonator" or "Blow Yo Mind." But overall, this pleasing and fairly diverse album is a good example of electronica with an attitude.

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