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Shiny Toy Guns 

The video for "Le Disko" is a goth-industrial creepshow, but don't let that fool you -- Shiny Toy Guns are as playful as their name. "Don't Cry Out," the opening cut on We Are Pilots, is pure Pet Shop Boys disco-revival bliss, except that half the vocals are by sexy/smirky Carah Faye (remember, "dorks + mouthy babe = $ucce$$ " since Blondie, if not earlier). Co-vocalist Chad Petree gets overly earnest and kinda lame on such tracks as "Starts With One" and "Rainy Monday," the latter of which has way too much acoustic guitar for its own good. He seems to wish he was in Angels & Airwaves or something. But for the most part, these Angelenos alternate between cybernetic trippiness and new wave/Europop pastiche -- or both, as on their cover of Taco's version of "Puttin' on the Ritz."

Furthermore, the crunchy noises and atmospheric hisses can't hide the sugary center. And they could probably do an even better disco cover of "Boys Don't Cry" than Mexican electroids Belanova. If you've ever heard Belanova's version -- which sounds like a nine-year-old girl skipping around her bedroom, singing along to the radio without understanding the lyrics -- you know that's saying something.

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