What’s the difference between History Invades and any other post-punk band with that frenetic, angular sound you either love or hate? THE COMPUMAN. Who dat, you ask? Not so much a “who” as a “what” or a monolithic “it.” If there is a recurring theme to the song titles, lyrics, and moods found on History Invades’ The Structure of a Precise Fashion it’s THE COMPUMAN: the band’s embodiment of the pervasive hand of multinational corporations, monopolies, and omnimedia…real upbeat kinda stuff. So, while Bloc Party use their tense rhythms and wiry guitar licks as a stark backdrop to warm, human emotions, History Invades use similar techniques to sound a warning cry — which comes out as cheeky yet ominous refrains like, “Make room for computer know-how…” Have a nice weekend.
My introduction to disco funk and AM gold came at a rec center ice (not roller) rink in Oxford, Ohio, where I was more focused on learning to let go of the sideboards than I was on honing my critical ear. So I have to admit — and I think I’m in good company here — a soft spot for a lip-biting groove, syrupy synths, and falsetto back-up vocals. Oh, and an extroverted frontman with ridiculously romantic lyrics. Baby Teeth have all those ingredients in place, right down to their lead singer, Pearly Sweets, whose delivery lives up to his name and wrings any suspicion of irony right out. In fact, as his tender a capella vocals kick off the ballad “Mandy” with “Mandy…Mandy…Mandy…you make me feel like a dandy…”, I can feel my palms getting all sweaty in anticipation of the PA announcer saying, “Snowball…”