VARIOUS ARTISTS Twin Cities Electropunk Vol. 4 Avenpitch
At best, electropunk, as a genre, is an acquired taste. At worst, it's easily dismissed on the grounds that most of the people in this town who listen to it are either personal friends with or members of a band on this compilation. But perhaps that's not a bad thing after all. The most obvious benefit of being an electropunk fan is that you instantly belong to a community. The bands included on this all-local compilation truly do represent the best the Twin Cities has to offer in the genre, yet while there are a few bands here capable of filling a small all-ages venue, there is no marquee name. Thus, to be a fan is to belong, but what's the use in preaching to the choir?
For those who belong, electropunk's musical tenets, notably the garish pervasiveness of synthesizers, become rallying points. Screaming Mechanical Brain, for instance, are only the second musical act I've ever seen with a frontman on keytar (the first being John Tesh). Elsewhere, a snotty, mid-'90s, pop-punk vocal intonation on par with NOFX or New Found Glory pervades in the music of Avenpitch, Ikki, and MSRP. But for those who don't already identify with the tight-knit camp of electropunk faithful, these defining characteristics come across as annoying inside jokes. Even highlights like the über-campy neon fun of Zibra Zibra and the industrial-leaning Audio Victim can't save the record on the whole from being entirely discardable.
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