Ladytron Commodore Rock

Dance but not too, lounge but not overly, these retro-futurists play their brand of new wave international jet set electronic pop so perfectly cool that it's almost scary. Employing vintage synthesisers, old school beat boxes and crisp, sophisticated female vocals, this British-based quartet recall bands like Stereolab, yet retain their own distinct vibe. Leading off this four-song EP, "Hey Playgirl" is way beyond catchy, and if things in this rotten old world were even close to how they should be, it would be a big, big hit. It has a cold, distant, longing quality and even though it uses archaic handclaps and dusty old synth lines, it keeps a straight face and never uses irony or kitsch as a crutch. The title track takes a side trip into a more dance territory but is still more on the Kraftwerk tip than anything else. "Miss Black" is a short, creepy instrumental with some maniacal laughing thrown in, which keeps the party going and acts as a nice little transitional piece. The final song, "Paco," is a clever, straight-up, new wave number about cruising for a new lover at a department store and has lyrics like, "I saw your face on the black and white screen, I saw your name on the check-out machine." A great band playing fun electronic music that people who don't even like electronic music can get into. (Invicta)