Say Hi To Your Mom Impeccable Blahs

Synths and guitars dappled with laptop programming may colour Say Hi To Your Mom’s work, but their unfailing quirkiness makes it mighty tough to neatly banish them to the overpopulated shores of sensitive bedroom electro pop. True to form, SHTYM have produced a concept album (a breed now suddenly in vogue) with an effort devoted to the inner workings of vampires. This isn’t all that odd when you consider that many of the themes on this album closely mirror the mopey insecurity of the "geek is the new chic” movement. Framed in smart one-liners are the pangs of self consciousness, possessiveness and admiration from afar. Emphatic, boisterous choruses are seldom found, as restraint appears to be the watchword. The steadily escalating momentum of the outro on "She Just Happens To Date the Prince of Darkness,” for example, unexpectedly plateaus and slows to a standstill without bursting into the obligatory cathartic open-chord release that many bands would have succumbed to. In fact, Impeccable Blahs seems to have been crafted with the very intent of keeping listeners off balance, forcing them to fill in the gaps themselves. All this unresolved anticipation is bound to bring up the question of whether many of the songs are going anywhere at all. But if the result is a tense, challenging pop ride — which it is — then it is a worthwhile trade-off. (Euphobia)