Share (WE ARE) NEGATIVE DOTS - Irritones (P.Trash/Relax-O-Matic Vibrator)
This is the full-blown LP debut from 2009 for this new-ish French band, a mini super group of the Gallic punk underbelly. There's since been a 2010 split EP with German thrashers Napoleon Dynamite, and the band has taken it as far as the West Coast of the USA to play live. Irritones draw on a classic strain of poppy punk rock and are good enough players to impart it with a sharp musicality.
Band members are from the Hatepinks, Aggravation and The Holy Curse but "Negative Dot's Is neither straight-up punk thrash or Detroit rock. They might have a touch of the Richard Hells about them in the cover photo but if there's a label to apply, it's "punk bubblegum".
Brevity is a byword. Ten songs race past in about 20 minutes, and the vinyl spins at 45rpm. That's just enough time to drink a beer (or a black coffee if it's before 10am) before getting up to flip the disc, flop dowjn on the couch and take another sip. You'll do plenty of trips back and forth between the lounge and the turntable if you're into this stuff. Who says punk rock is bad for your health?
The title track is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it exercise with more chorus than verse. In case you miss the message, these guys are Negative Dots. All respect to bass player Rudy but the twin musical axis here really is the spiky guitar-playing of Sonic Polo and Miguel's strident drumming. Everyone else builds the songs around them.
"Rejection Is All We Have" pogoes up and down on the most basic of beats and works a treat. Vocalist OLivier Gasoil does a nice line in Gallic slur ("Jay-suss Ker-rist") that sounds all the cooler against the band's relentless popish attack. Ruminations on Japanese cars and the dominant brands of soft drinks appear on the B side. What do you want? Songs about global warming and whales?
"(We Are) Negative Dots" is high-energy fun and if you don't at least nod your head at high-speed in appreciation you're clinically dead. - The Barman
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