Robots In Disguise - Happiness V Sadness (President)

Fan-funded album that we've all sadly heard before.

Released Aug 2nd, 2011 via President / By David Waite
Robots In Disguise - Happiness V Sadness (President) Robots In Disguise are an electropunk band dating back to the turn of the century. They received some national exposure after appearing in, and then touring with the Mighty Boosh several years back. Unfortunately, the money ran out and they had to rely on 'investor angels' otherwise known as 'fans' to donate and keep the project alive. And here it is: Happiness V Sadness.

It begs the question, as to whether their investor-base are happy with their outlay. It seems unlikely. In fact, it's hard to take much pleasure listening to a press copy let alone one you've contributed sizeably too. RiD are in the same mould as CSS, Ladytron or Peaches. It's not unfair to say all of those projects verge on annoying in places, but generally seem to just about stay on the right side of irritating. Maybe they should share their secret with Robots In Disguise who almost exclusively fall on the wrong side of that line.

There is a fairly tired formula from start to finish. The drums are big on syncopation, the bass is a fairly standard dirty punk tone and the chorus' are heavy on soundbites, usually with a shouty feel. There's nothing wrong with sticking to what you know and there are some half decent electro-grooves, but they are constantly marred by either an awkward vocal melody, tedious lyrics or often both. This is no more clearly evident than in the opening track 'Chains'.

Clearly a big part of this band is about letting the Robot's personality shine through - they being Dee Plume and Sue Denim, aka Delia Gaitskell and Suzanne Powell. That incorporates, artwork and fashion as much as musical content but the audio dimension might possibly be the weakest.