Imitation Electric Piano-Blow It Up, Burn It Down, Kick It ‘Til It Bleeds

Drag City

 To borrow one of its own song titles, Imitation Electric Piano’s second album makes for “Relatively Good Times.” That it’s not better lies in the band’s decision to make a marked departure in its signature sound: adding full-time vocals.
One of many offshoots of post-rock giant Stereolab, the band debuted in 2001 with a stellar self-titled EP of instrumental lounge-tronica that suggested what Stereolab might sound like if orchestrated by Burt Bacharach. A proper LP, “Trinity Neon,” followed in 2003, also terrific.
So if it ain’t broke, why bring twee-voiced singer Mary Hampton into the fold? Her pipes don’t complement the music, but diffuse its charm. In full, “Blow It Up “¦ ” isn’t bad, but it’s a disappointment; one can imagine how much better it’d be sans vocals.  
– Dave Bond

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