The Chinese Stars Listen to Your Left Brain

Despite drummer Craig Kureck and singer Eric Paul coming from the acclaimed noise rock troupe Arab on Radar, the Chinese Stars’ rock is surprisingly clean. They are much more similar to former bassist Richard Ivan Pelletier’s previous band, Six Finger Satellite, whose dance rock helped launch James Murphy into the spotlight. Listen to Your Left Brain, the Chinese Stars’ second full-length for Three One G, continues this trend, offering nine tracks of drugged-up, four-on-the-floor dance punk with a focus on low-end synths from V. Von Ricci and squealing guitar from Paul Vieira. Eric Paul’s vocals are, predictably, sassy and obnoxious but soon become grating during the album’s 35-minute runtime. The album certainly has its strong points, like the infectious bass line of "Bored With This Planet” and the Clash-esque delivery of "Drugs Are Sunshine.” Ultimately, however, the record falls prey to too many clichés, adding little that’s new to its already polarising genre. Dance punk fanatics will cling to the record’s icy beats and aggressive lyrics but those looking for substance will have to search elsewhere. (Three One G)