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Gil Mantera's Party Dream 

Bloodsongs (Audio Eagle/Fat Possum)

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Subtlety and nuance aren't normally expected from a man who wears a loincloth and glues a '70s-porn 'stache to his upper lip. But on Bloodsongs, Gil Mantera, along with his ever-antagonistic brother the Ultimate Donny, leaves most of the goofing around for their stage show. Their latest release, a textured, contagious LP, makes the case that they're more than just a can't-miss live act.

Of course, Bloodsongs still features tunes about feeling up your sister and fending off monkeys. But the band focuses on writing actual songs, not just punch lines. The result is an album of hooky new wave that brings to mind Trans Am, Air, and Kraftwerk -- on whip-its. Gil mostly sings into a vocoder, resulting in robotic, disembodied vocal lines. Donny, on the other hand, overemotes wildly, wailing like a young, drunk Bobby Brown. They complement each other well, adding sweat and swagger to their throbbing electro. In other words, they no longer have to set their pubic hair on fire to entertain.

More by Jason Bracelin

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