Release Date: Jun 21, 2011
Record label: One Little Indian
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
This eagerly-anticipated affair is as punk rock, fun and raucous as we'd hoped... Borne from the Exeter punk scene, rather than the US of A as their sound dictates, The Computers’ impressive debut is a riotous, riff-laden affair. Dripping with references to Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu and John ‘Speedo’ Reis’ career in general, it comes as little surprise that the Swami head honcho whisked the Devon boys off to sunny California to record under his expert tutelage.
It's not a surprise that U.K. act the Computers ended up getting produced by John Reis on their 2011 album; if Jack White ended up with more of the fame, the Swami record boss has carved out his own place when it comes to playing, producing, and releasing thrashy and engagingly trashy rock & roll. So it's little further surprise that This Is the Computers sounds good enough on the one hand, but on the other, it's a bit of an on-off effort by the band, initially an example of sudden moments almost working more than the songs.
The Computers may need an image makeover. The clean lines on their artwork, those slick haircuts, even that name—it all points to a love for ‘80s synth music. You’d certainly be forgiven for mistaking them, at first glance, for some sort of New Order or Kraftwerk acolytes. Of course, maybe that’ll teach us not to judge a record by its cover, since This Is the Computers is about as far from clean synth-pop as you can get.
Fare to scald the soles of one’s feet rather than nourish the soul. Mike Diver 2011 Eleven tracks in 24 minutes: The Computers know how to make their point quickly. And sharply, too – sharp enough to get right into the skin and stay there for a while. The Exeter band’s grit and gristle is clear enough, hoarse vocals and loud amps establishing themselves within seconds of opener Where Do I Fit In? – but they’re smart enough to combine such a snotty demeanour with some absolutely cracking tunes.