Review: The Robot Ate Me

The Robot Ate Me
“On Vacation”
(Swim Slowly)

Hailing from “sunny and mostly superficial” San Diego, The Robot Ate Me follow up their 2002 release, “They Ate Themselves”, with a self produced, hand sewn, hand numbered, double disc release, limited to 5000 copies.  The ten-page booklet was designed and illustrated by Daniel Gibson who also did the art for the first album.  The artwork alone makes it worth the purchase.  The first disc takes an ironic almost playful romp through some of history’s ugliest moments.  It is set to samples of crackly old records, some of which sound like they could have preceded one of FDR’s fireside chats.  Singer Ryland Bouchard makes some subtle and clever confrontations to issues like racism, religion, politics, genocide, and consumerism.  He sets a lightly sarcastic mood that decries the modern world with a sense of humor.  Boucher cleverly expresses his sentiments with songs that have titles like “The Republican Army”, “Crispy Christian Tea Time”, “Every Nazi Plane Has a Cross” and “I Slept Through the Holocaust”.  The content of the second disc is a little bit lighter, but very musically appealing.  It follows more closely in the footsteps of their first album, still ignoring all the rules of conventional pop music.  They manage to once again create some of the most beautiful and incredibly original music I’ve heard in a long, long time.  After the images of genocide, and Hitler making out with Jesus, the second disc reminds us that within the dissatisfied jaded recluse, resides a shy shoe shuffling nerd daydreaming about falling in love.