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Uhh... Err... Umm... Wha??? I'm at a loss for words. Funtymz's revelatory, six-song CD Love Factory is so devastatingly atrocious that it enters the rarefied realm of the superlative. As in: this is the most unlistenable music I've ever heard. In its own ridiculous way, it's perfect. Like Cheetos.

Am I contradicting myself? Making any sense? This washed-out, no-fi, sterile unfunk has me completely disoriented. I'm foggy as to whether Funtymz one-man-keytar-stroking auteur, a.k.a. Johnny M, is yanking my chain or just really, sincerely terrible. David Byrne and the Cars and New Order... there are so many wonderful synth-pop bands out there. And then there's Funtymz.

Accompanying the audaciously named Love Factory -- which I still can't think about with a straight face -- is a 17-minute promotional DVD. Johnny M is revealed as a leering, middle-aged man in black, flanked by two teenaged girl dancers in purple spandex. These two do their best half-time routine of kicks and thrusts while M's watery voice, drowned to indecipherability in cavernous reverb, floats out over a tin-can, Casiotone-preset beat into what looks like a high school gym. Now I got it -- this is sterilized dance music for Christian cheerleading camp! Or a teaser of what purgatory for music lovers might be like (cuz hell would surely rock harder than this). Shocking, appalling, hilarious -- Funtymz is unprecedented. Which is why it's something to treasure, laugh at, pass on to your friends, post on the Internet, use for your outgoing cell phone message, play on Halloween, roller-skate naked to, torture your neighbors with, and then never ever listen to again.

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Jonathan Zwickel

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