Client

Client (Toast Hawaii/Mute)

Think of electroclash as the NASDAQ circa spring 2000, when it crashed and burned after the hype finally subsided. Now think of Client as a dot-com trying to make a buck by rolling out an IPO in the midst of that environment. The duo's hackneyed formula confronts you well before the tunes on their debut album. There's the track listing: It certainly wouldn't be an über-cool electroclash album without visions of drugs ("Pills") and Germany ("Leipzig"), now would it? Plus the two principals go by monikers Client A and Client B. (How mysterious and aloof!) And then there's the cover art that nicks Adult.'s fashion-noir with two cropped feminine forms sporting vintage shoes. You'd almost expect to see "Weird Al" Yankovic's face poking out from around the corner, assuring us that this is pure parody. Yet Clients A and B still have the audacity to declare on the opening manifesto, "Client," that "We innovate, never imitate... unrivaled, unparalleled." Those boasts, of course, are uttered over pedestrian analog drum beats and grinding, quasimalevolent, new wave-era synthesizers. In other words, it sounds like someone triggered the "electro-pop" demo button on some cheap downloaded software.

Beyond that, the bulk of the album sounds like a charmless and labored attempt to clone Ladytron and Add N to (X), all vocoders and desperate attempts to sleaze things up with lines like "I'm a sex junkie/So are you, baby." Like "Wazzzzzuupp?!" and Monica Lewinsky, this joke stopped being funny a long time ago.

 
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