Infants - "DTL Infants Remix"
from Friend Paste 7-inch and CDS (Tigertrap)
Danced-Up Chants 'N' Spittle // Out Now
Clangorous fun from band of multinationals. "Information": Foghorns let loose with lovefarts, and a couple of subway cars rumble invitingly in each other's direction. Brakes break, chanters chant, a crazed passenger starts yammering at us in Japanese. Then foghorns lay down the beat and chanters resume chanting. Process repeats. "Firetruk": Same formula as "Information"; i.e., dark thuddy rumbles bounce off of counterrumbles and slide across the floor; chants are added as condiments ("Let's go Firetruk!"). Witty, but a certain amount of work is necessary for one to get into the rhythm. The fun is made complex by the band's tendency to drop refrigerators on one's toes. "DTL Infants Remix": This, our streamed track, not on the disc but available as an mp3, is the Infants' remix of Drop The Lime's "Wake Up Call." Howlers toss howls off of each other; hippopotamuses blow soap bubbles that turn into rubbery jungle breakbeats. Dueling locomotives. Shower scene where women pretend they're being slashed to death. Then blips go blip and someone fakes an orgasm. "Firetruk Drop The Lime Remix": The chants return — "Let's go Firetruk!" — augmented by tight funky guitar licks and rumbling, twisting bass. Vocalist resorts to old-Iggy-style throat retching from Stooges Funhouse freakout days. Those days are gone, so bands like this would be more powerful if they weren't hiding behind weirdness; but hoping for that to change is like wishing the world were different. FRANK KOGAN
INFANTS Foam Party
Squawk Skronk // Out Now
Bob Dylan once said that to live outside the law you must be honest. Well, to live outside melody you have to have good rhythm, and a sense of comic timing helps. These Infants have their party hats on and their noisemakers to their lips, happy murder beats and confetti rhythms that remind one of M.I.A.'s current compositional strategy (drum machine, feathers, electric fan). Voices crackle apart, while short wires disconnect and reconnect and antennae hide behind the far side of the moon. Not quite as galvanizing as when we last reviewed them three months ago: they've mastered electric clatter, but the vocal hysteria is getting same-y, and they could use a frontperson with charisma. (A M.I.A.-Infants collaboration is pleasant to fantasize, or Infants remixing the Ying Yang Twins.) Still, they careen along nicely, someone having substituted cocktail mixer for brake fluid. FRANK KOGAN