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I Sing! The Body Cybernetic Servotron, One Louder 1998
1.I Sing! The Body Cybernetic
2.Genetic Engineering
3.The Image Created
4.The Power of Electricity
5.Red Robot Refund

One of many bands loosely tied in to the great Man or Astro-Man is Servotron, a mid-1990s indie band with members of that band, Supernova, and a few others. The gimmick? They're robots, and they're going to kill you.

The bulk of the music comes from pop culture, with tunes that reference the 1980's sitcom Small Wonder as well as an obscure robot from Star Wars with "Red Robot Refund," which is a tribute to the droid R5-D4. If you're a child of either of the two decades that Star Wars originated from, this band has a lot to offer you. Assuming, of course, you were paying close attention to sci-fi trends to the best of your ability.

Like many other bands from this grouping (like The Causey Way and Supernova), Servotron's band members assume stage names. There's Proto Unit V-3, Z4-OBX, Andro 600 Series, and 00zX1. These musicians play with a fairly tight precision and back in the day, dressed up like robots and frequently told audience members that they were going to kill them and replace them with robotic parts so they could live forever. (You can hear bits of this on their album Spare Parts.) This brings a since of fun and a sort of legendary status to the band because unless you do a lot of research, you'll never be able to find out who these people really are.

The music on the album is a lot like music that you probably haven't heard. If you've heard Tyro, you've got a good idea. But you haven't, so the best way to describe Servotron is a jerky, pseudo-futuristic rock band with a lot of sound effects and synthesized sounds. It's surprisingly bouncy for something that prides itself on representing the perfect precision playing of artificial life forms, and while it won't make you think, it'll probably make you laugh if you're on the right side of the joke.

The only tracks on this CD that appeared on one of the others are "I Sing! The Body Cybernetic" and "The Image Created." You may be able to find some of the songs on other 7" vinyl releases, but if you don't have a turntable, you ain't gonna find these tracks anywhere else. If you're a collector of things related to Servotron or Man or Astro-Man this is a disc worthy of purchase, because it has great art, good tunes, and while it is only five tracks long, it's memorable. If you see it, snag it, because it's supposedly out of print.

--Adam Pawlus
February 23, 2004

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