Ima Robot - Ima Robot (Cover Artwork)

Ima Robot

Ima Robot (2003)


Dead Kennedys meets Devo.

This is an overly simplistic yet disturbingly accurate description of the Los Angeles quintet Ima Robot. At their best, the band combines the ferocious speed and strange vibrato vocals of the Dead Kennedys with quirky bouncy melodies of Devo. They perfectly fit into that small group of new New Wave bands like Hot Hot Heat and The Faint, and when they're on, they're ON.

The problem is, Ima Robot isn't good enough to merit a full-length. Or at least, not yet. The one-two punch of openers "Dynomite" and "Song #1 (actually sequenced as the second song, natch)" grab attention with aggressive, driving bass lines and Alex Ebert's high pitched vocals that invite the aforementioned favorable comparison to Jello Biafra.

After those two songs, not much happens. There's a few mediocre pop songs ("Scream"), a nod to George Clinton funk ("Let's Talk Turkey") and relatively few other standouts. They relegate their best track, "Black Jettas" to the bonus area, tacking it on after the horrendous four minute-plus "What We Are Made From". Its a somewhat rewarding journey though, as "Black Jettas" is a great, snappy track that sounds like a disco song reinvented as the soundtrack to an old-school Nintendo game. Yeah, its a bit of a novelty, but its pretty damn fun.

The band has some potential, but their self-titled debut leaves much to be desired. Download "Black Jettas" and wait for "Ima Robot 2: Electric Boogaloo."