Ima Robot Ima Robot

It was only a matter of time before garage rock started to be interpreted by art rock musicians and though Ima Robot approach their angle with considerable talent — their rhythm section is culled straight from Beck’s touring band, including drummer Joey Waronker (who’s also known for his work with R.E.M., the Smashing Pumpkins and Johnny Cash) — the end product sounds far too processed and regurgitated to fully enjoy. Several of the tracks are interesting in and of themselves, like the nervous jitter of "Song #1,” obvious single "Scream” and infectious "12=3,” but far too much of the album comes across as a poorly constructed shtick, mostly due to theatrical lead singer Alex Ebert. It’s hard to tell whether he’s warmly embracing irony like an aged hipster in a trucker cap or sincere in his ridiculousness à la the Country Teasers, but ultimately both would yield the same results. Even with embarrassing moments like "Dirty Life” and "Black Jettas,” Ima Robot may be mildly entertaining but is also detrimentally unable to offer any worthwhile ideas to their already crowded genre other than spasmodic electronic flourishes that rarely come close to bringing these dead melodies to life. (EMI)