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Airbrushed Alibis *
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  • Having demonstrated on their debut that they know how to make peppy synth pop par excellence, Jessica and Jeff DeCuir keep at it with their second effort, a dozen delights as Dayglo-entertaining as the album artwork. Unlike so much of the almost too-apologetic neo-keyboard- new wave, Hyperbubble actually sound like they want to hit a dancefloor, and one overseen by the self-knowing wryness of Devo at that. So the opening "Synesthesia" is a full-on celebration of their artistic approach, detailing all the pieces of equipment needed to hit the beats and bleeps in traded-off then shared vocals, all with the kind of weird and wonderful nagging synth lines that make listeners of a certain age want to hit the arcade to play Pac-Man or Defender right this second. (The concluding unlisted "Bonus Track" does much the same thing with the very concept of such a song.) Jess' delivery is again a kind of witty ice-cool warm that could almost be a solo cyborg Shangri-Las, while the two create perfectly in sync arrangements of tense and brisk, such as "Hyperdome" and the slow-crawling ballad that's the title track. It's no surprise that Jeff in particular has such a sharp eye for sheer froth given his roots in an act like Pink Filth, and song titles like "Rollerboogie Babydoll" and the ultimate mouthful of "Non-Biodegradable Hazardous Waste Disposal" further demonstrate it. (Meanwhile there's even a subtle Queen nod in the title of "I'm in Love with My Clone.") Perhaps the cherry on the sundae is a classic disaffected anthem of youth, "Indoor Kidz," simultaneously a tribute to any number of generations chilling in front of some sort of screen (the music may be early '80s, but the mentions of laptops are newer and the quote from the Who rather earlier) and straight-up herky-jerky dance delight. ~ Ned Raggett
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