Hefner Dead Media

One of Britain's most beloved bands is London's Hefner. In the past three years this quartet has released three albums and a singles compilation. With their fourth album, Hefner has decided to mix it up a bit and experiment with their sound. Dead Media is a turning point in the band's career, bringing analogue keyboards and drum machines in their world of storytelling pop songs. The electronics are surprising at first, with the title track and "When Angels Play Their Drum Machines," but when "Alan Bean," an ode to the fourth man on the moon, comes around it becomes a lot easier to accept. It's as if bleep experts like Kraftwerk and Plone swallowed the Hefner soul. That's not to say that the band has neglected their old sound. "Junk" is a sensitive, Bacharach gone country ballad and "The Nights Are Long" is a pop theme song for losers dumped by their girlfriends. Overall, Dead Media would not be a good starting point for people just getting into Hefner, but it is a thrill for their fans and a good place to witness a successful crossover of musical genres. (Beggars Banquet)