Emperor X Tectonic Membrane/Thin Strip On An Edgeless Platform

Discos Mariscos, I don’t know where you came from, but you’re the pleasant kind of surprise. First, the kooky Applied Communications disc and now this, a similar spirit channelled through the hands of an experienced and travelled little villain. Like the merging of two minds, Emperor X’s vocals take on a Pinback-y quality, but with one guy’s throat carrying the humanistic/metallic bent. At other times, Emperor X (who is really named Chad Matheny) sounds like a grittier Ben Gibbard in a cheese-less Postal Service-style skin. His real-instrument songs are the highlight here; "Bashling” is a sweltering-night style indie folk ballad complete with echoey girl-sighs, and the quick bit at the end of "Exterminata Beat” is a pretty piano and choir interlude. His electro personality, though a little tired, has its merits — "Florencia Tropicana” contains possibly the first reference to the anti-cultural phenomenon that is the internet’s Friendster (about the service losing a file in transit). Bravo! (Discos Mariscos)