Restiform Bodies 

TV Loves You Back

With subgenre appellations multiplying like bacteria, it's hard to keep up. (I had to clue a pal who never goes to dance clubs that "techno" was indeed not "techno-pop," i.e. those '80 UK new-wave synthesizer bands.)

Oakland lads Restiform Bodies are hip-hop but nowhere near gangsta style. Aside from the urban strut and grooves of Public Enemy and Run-DMC, their influences include the darker side of early-'80s synth-pop (Gary Numan, the original/pre-Top 40 Human League) and glitter-era Marc Bolan (could be coincidence, but Bodies' Dave Bryant's singing voice sounds much like T-Rex singer Bolan's). Restiform Bodies often juggle genres within a single song — their rat-a-tat raps seamlessly segue into ominous, sleek, melodious passages with coolly mournful vocals, spiced up with very brief bursts of noise. Their subject matter (as hinted by this disc's title) includes the buy-more-you-soulless-drones ethos and how it infects all aspects of people's lives ("Consumer Culture Wave"), technology paranoia ("Pick It Up, Drop It"), and just plain paranoia (A hundred sharpshooters in his ribcage/shooting sharp pain in as many directions; I don't wanna know/but you're gonna tell me anyway, "Ameriscan").

Like Public Enemy at their best, Restiform Bodies engage you with the beats and audacious flair then make you look long and hard into funhouse-warped, revealing mirrors. (Anticon)


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