My Robot Friend Dial 0

Dial 0 is a collection of My Robot Friend’s older music and some new tracks as well. A fixture in the New York City scene, MRF’s material is distinctive electro rock, comparable to Devo meeting the Soft Pink Truth, and although it can work in a club the music avoids many of the trappings of dance music. "One More Try” with vocals by Antony (leader of the Johnsons) is a stand-out track, sounding like early ’80s electro disco with full-on gay bar appeal and very strong vocals. "City Sounds” is a quirky cut that combines audio collages with a primary school aesthetic to create a funky spastic track. The hilarious "Problems” and sexed-up gender fuck "Swallow,” both released in 2004 by Sweet Smelling Surfaces, appear here in their original forms. Some of the tracks are ridiculous; "Dead” and "The Cut” come to mind, because the lyrics are like junior high poetry with rhymes so "diarrhoea, gonorrhoea, pill, hill,” for example. That said, one of the things that makes My Robot Friend great is the light-hearted feeling that comes across in the music, and if it takes a bit of insanity to get to that, it’s worth it to hear an otherwise awesome record. (Soma)