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MY DEVICE Jumbo Fiasco Shifty Disco Shifty 0706 (2007)

My Device

They must be putting something in the water in Brighton as My Device are the latest in an array of challenging, innovative bands from 12 Stone Toddler to My Red Shoes to colour the indie rock canvas.

My Device are arguably the most intense, eclectic and brusque of the bunch, always seemingly teetering on the brink of self destruction but with enough crunchy riffs, oddball lyrical quirkiness and firebrand rocking in their locker to satisfy a potentially wide audience.

This trio are a post punk, bass driven combo who machine gun guitarist Todd Jordan's lyrically imagery across a barren landscape. The lyrics are spat out relentlessly and from the stuttering sampled one-two intro onwards, My Device blast their way through 14 muscular high-energy tracks, of which 'Fountain of Youth' sets an impossibly high standard that far surpasses anything by their original Punk inspired mentors. There's a deep seated irony if not droll humour in songs like 'Life is a Blast', along the lines of, 'You made a mistake, but your not weak, It's all so aggressive, being unique'.

And there's too much attention paid to some lightning arrangement and harmony vocals on 'Show Me The Ropes' for any of this to be taken too lightly. Indeed bass player Russell Eke recalls the muscular lines of Jean Jacques Burnell of The Stranglers, except that the arrangements here are far more complex. The band barely pause for breathe in between the tracks surging forward in a whirl of unrequited hunger, tearing through their lyrics with real venom. If the single 'Super Tonio' ever makes any radio play list then you will know radio has moved with the times.

Two of the more impressive outings, the Bonzo Dog sounding' Rusty Trombone' with its unlikely acoustic slide' and the frenetic 'Mybear' which tears out of the traps at a hundred miles an hour, last little more than 90 seconds. This is a band that makes it point and leaves. Ultimately they smash open the stable door, do their inimitable thing and leave without a word of explanation. Sometimes their venom gets the better of them as on 'Slamming Doors', the title of which matches the frenetic pace of the chopped up music, but there is far more creativity than slack.

In a music scene where to be diverse, eclectic and lightning fast often seems to pass for substance, My Device deliver the beef as well as the garnish and make sure they don't fall into the trap of here today gone tomorrow.

Inevitably perhaps, 'Eat Lead' stands out if only because of its relatively speaking, untainted melody. But typically just as you get into the body of the song the band slip away on to the next track with more ribald bass lines, clanging and pumping rhythm guitars. In fact by the time of 'Burn Burn Burn', it sounds as if My Device might even implode, until they surprise you again with what sounds like a Mongolese flute outro, proof if it was needed that they don't take themselves too seriously. After all, any band that can some up with lines like 'That girl act like she's eating steak when she's just chewing gum' and then bizarrely stands outside of its own narrative to announce, 'This girl is fictional, we made her up for this song, Please don't believe us, we're lying to you, it's sham', is something more than just another left field combo.. If you can get beyond the occasional manic excesses My Device offer rich reward.


Review by Pete Feenstra

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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