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Polysics - Now is the time!

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Artist: Polysics

Album: Now is the time!

Label: Tofu

Review date: Apr. 5, 2006

Based on the press info about Polysics, together with their image and even this album title, one could be forgiven for dismissing them out of hand as a kitsch group of Devo wannabes. That would be a shame, because there's much more here than that. High energy, electronic punk, Polysics are certainly a relatively shallow band, but there's nothing wrong with that. Entertainment is as entertainment does.

Buzzing electro-wave tune "Ceolakanth Is Android" (yes, it should be coelacanth, but musicians have never been superb spellers) and the bouncey "I My Me Mine, with its childrens' TV-show synth melodies are pure sugar, no fiber. Fine summertime enjoyment, well-executed and simply fun. Granted, some of them stray across the line into cutesy, like the regrettable "Oh! Mozaliza," which sounds like a theme from Teletubbies or, even worse, an Old Navy commercial.

Songs like "Walky Talky" and "Bye-Bye-Bye" reference the band's Devo inspiration a bit too explicitly, but overall Polysics show themselves to have for the most part outgrown their influences. They have developed their own style, which is equal parts Devo, Talking Heads, Space Streakings, and maybe a bit of the Boredoms and early punk rock.

"Wild One" is probably the best song, unerringly blending an incredibly catchy doo-wop garage rock vocal with chugging guitar and goofy synth blips. If it references anyone, it would be early Blondie or the Go-Go's, but it's ultimately just Polysics in the vastly entertaining synthesis of sounds. With the high-energy "Jhout" (despite its synth line being slightly borrowed from Lene Lovich), it's an album highlight.

Polysics have been slow in finding themselves, but they're just about there. Regardless, Now is the time! contains more than enough gems to make it worth a look.

By Mason Jones

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