Seattle’s Aalacho blend together some of the worst aspects of New Wave, EBM, and moody college rock into a pretentious mélange of disco beats and cheesy processed guitars. Remember Nitzer Ebb’s ill-advised foray into rock ‘n’ roll before they broke up? How about when Love And Rocket made that first, awful attempt at going techno? If those two regrettable moments in the careers of otherwise sterling artists got married and had a child, that mewling infant would be Aalacho’s sophomore release. While it’s not entirely bad – after all, it takes more talent than these guys have to ruin a Beatles song, so “Ticket To Ride” is at least inoffensive – the bulk of this stuff is sheer trash. “Atomic Playboy” is grating hippie rock laced with just enough electronics to get Aalacho played in electroclash clubs. “I’ll Climb You” is catchier if you like that kind of thing, but artists like Arkarna already covered this territory in the mid-nineties. While “Pompeii” shows some promise by mixing in old-school EBM drum machines and poppy guitars, lead singer Nathan Scott’s melodramatic falsetto wrecks things as soon as the vocals kick in. The instrumental tracks are only marginally better. “Lift” has some interesting spacey effects, but it’s marred by ‘70s disco rhythms. Things actually manage to end on a high note, with Felix Da Housecat’s minimal Detroit-style remix of “Pompeii,” but a Beatles cover and one decent remix aren’t enough to save this album. Aalacho tries to come off as cool, retro, and intentionally low-fi, but this album is just a novelty, and its trendy affectations are a poor stand-in for real talent.
For more information, visit www.aalacho.com.
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