June 12, 2008

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Ladytron, Velocifero
Nettwerk Records, June 3
UK guy/girl foursome Ladytron have remixed more songs than released their own, an assumedly necessary evil that may have come to an end on the occasion of their strongest album to date. Never mind that they opened a bunch of dates for Nine Inch Nails — they’re too cool for goth, merely secret admirers of it, as opener “Black Cat” speaks to while walking the wire between buzzy-loud EBM and ’80s shock-schlock. Singer Mira Aroyo would appear to hail from the shoegaze side of the tracks, her gentle, ambivalent voice usually hiding in plain sight as it floats through war zones of trumpeting synth and power chords. “Ghosts” is the can’t-miss of the album, a super-glue refrain attached to a chug-along march reminiscent of Wire’s “The Queen of Ur and the King of Um.” Matter of fact, with all members having good grips on songwriting and contributing equally to something so low-key but regal, this may be the best mid-speed college-rock album since A Bell is a Cup. A+Eric W. Saeger