Music News

Slumber Party

In its own unaffected way, Detroit foursome Slumber Party recalls the early, more eclectic daze of late-1970s punk rock and new wave's first flowering. Whereas most bands in the '00 era can be summarized in word fragments (emo, grindcore) or nebulous nouns (noise), Slumber Party freely appropriates aspects of assorted approaches and subgenres to establish its own sound. "Boys/Girls" articulates contempt for "common" gender roles ("I'm a shopaholic/I like to dance/You're an alcoholic/You got me in a trance") via lo-fi synth-pop rhythms (recalling pre-glam/Top 40 electro-pop Human League and OMD) and adorably retro girl-group harmonies — imagine NYC's tuff Shangri-La's after spending summer vacation with the Velvet Underground. The VU's ballad influence echoes through the plaintive, loping garage rock of "Electric Ocean"; then Slumber gals tip their collective sun hat to their hometown Motown sound with "Late Nite" (the Supremes meet the Seeds). Startlingly original? No — but you'll be hearing these songs in your head while you're trying to sleep, long after the latest flavour du jour is passé.

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Mark Keresman