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Punktastic (3.4/ 5.0)

Posted 10/09/06

Right. When an album comes with a free comic book characterising its band members as intergalactic travellers, you’ve got to wonder what’s going on in their heads. Apparently ‘The Battle for Zeeb Beta’ chronicles the band returning to their homeland to defend it from an army of mutant dogs, only to be captured by Dog Leader Vernon and kept on his prisoner planet. That’s the gimmicky bullshit out of the way, so how does the album actually sound? Sadly, it’s pretty average. Opening track ‘Lazer Wire’ doesn’t seem to serve much purpose at all. It’s an entirely instrumental affair that could be passed off as the theme tune to some low-budget cartoon series. Maybe this is what the band were going for, I don’t know – it’s still pretty crappy.

‘She-Bot’ fares better, and there’s moments of it sounding like a lo-fi Placebo song which is impressive. It’s only a shame it seems to end too abruptly, as I feel the band could’ve definitely done more with this song. ‘The Aurora Kills’ and ‘Detachable Ed’ sadly don’t measure up to the previous track, and to be honest they’re dangerously edging towards the territory of being boring. However ‘The demise of Ayebeum’ is a definite improvement over these tracks. Despite it being another instrumental, at almost six minutes long, the band have been a lot more adventurous than on opening track ‘Lazer Wire’. It’s a shame to be negative about this record, as there is some definite promise here. I only get the feeling that if they spent less time arsing around with whimsical background stories, and focused more on producing good music then ‘The battle for Zeeb Beta’ could be improved hugely.



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