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Resident Genius

Semiautomatic

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Album Review

Resident Genius displays a mishmash of female vocals from Akiko Carver and instrumentation from former Peechees member Ropstyle to form a 14-song album of garage-fueled punk electronica. Some of the songs have great grooves and are played with competence and creativity. "The Birds of Weather," for example, features some nice DJ work and trip-hop combined with a flute solo that leads the listener down the path like a siren calling her beloved. Or, to put it another way, envision the mythical Pan delving deep into a forest with this as his soundtrack. On the next track, "Dramatics," one can forget all about Pan, because he just got ripped into a million pieces, flesh torn from his limbs as wild animals bit into him. It is a gutsy piece with full-on guitar and yelling vocals. Quite the contrast, but so it goes on Resident Genius. Much of the material here is decent and creative. However, at the same time, occasionally the album drags a bit too long and at points is downright silly. Certain women shouldn't do yelling, screaming vocals (just as certain men shouldn't, too), which just sound ridiculous in relation to the music they create. The song "Slushee Machine" portrays this adequately. And with lines like "I prefer the slushee machine" and "Take me to your slushee machine/Put me in your slushee machine," these types of tracks on the album are worth skipping over. The concept behind the album is respectable, however. According to the band, the point of Resident Genius is to stand testament to the fact that labels are imposed and unnatural, and that reality is imagined. Creative and insightful! With that combination, fans of electronic garage punk can surely look past a few silly lyrics about slushee machines and recognize some talent and vision when it comes along on an album like Resident Genius.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

The Brooklyn-based electronic punk group Semiautomatic features vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Akiko Carver and programmer/multi-instrumentalist Rop Vasquez. At one point the band also included Ian Vanek of the Teamsters and the Tight Bro's from Way Back When. Vasquez, a former member of the PeeChees, the Lefties, the Creeps, and Rice, also has a solo project, manmatesmachine, which features homemade and modified electronic instruments that appear on Semiautomatic's music as well. Named after Technics'...
Full Bio
Resident Genius, Semiautomatic
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