Although some would probably disagree, I think I have a decent sense of humor. Although it takes a lot to make me laugh, most of the time I know when I shouldn't take things too seriously and I really do try to not let my cynical side the best of me. That said, I find it somewhat difficult to get through this newest full-length release from My Robot Friend. I suppose I should have had some idea of what I should expect given the high schtick factor of the debut Why Won't You Call Me Back EP, I simply wasn't prepared for the slap happy beatdown of Hot Action!
Howard Robot is the main man behind My Robot Friend and apparently his live getup not only involves wearing a hyper-elaborate suit full of wires, light, and gadgetry, but it also involves a huge metal phallus that spits out sparks, confetti, or flames. I suppose it's like Devo with more of a fire hazard. The disc opens with the weakest track from the previously-mentioned EP "I Am The Robot" and then moves onto an even more sophomoric track in "Sex Machine." Mixing lo-fi drum machines and old school casio melodic stylings, the track is a weak backing for even sillier lyrics.
"You're Out Of The Computer" is a clever track of cut-up bongos and pumping dance funk, and it even features the vocal stylings of 80-year old outsider musician "Bingo Gazingo." With a diva-chorus backdrop and barking dog samples, it's completely absurb, but works quite well because it's one of the more solid tracks on the disc. The same goes with "The Fake," which sounds like a hyper-programmed and beefed-up track from the first LeTigre disc with male vocals.
If any of the above wasn't bad enough, "We're The Pet Shop Boys" arrives as easily the most meaningless track on the disc. A bubbling synthpop track that is sanitized beyond belief, lyrically and musically it unfortunately just seems like a grab at some sort of crossover. Fortunately, all the other excellent tracks off the debut EP make a re-appearence here as well, and they help to round out the disc a bit. Unbelievably silly (and sometimes just too childish to even take), Hot Action! might be right up your alley if you enjoy guys wearing robot suits with flame-shooting schlongs who sing robot songs (damn, maybe I am too cynical).