The Galvatrons

Laser Graffiti

Written by: TL on 18/08/2009 14:12:20

As recent reviews have come to show, I have a not so secret obsession with 80's rock and bands that seek to revive it (Steel Panther being the exception). If anything smells even remotely of Top Gun or Def Leppard then it will soon enough have my dirty hands all over it, and hence this is of course also the case for Australia's newest major label hotshots The Galvatrons. The band is a four piece named after the robot that Megatron is transformed into by Unicron in the 1986 animated "Transformers: The Movie" (wow, nerd factor there went over 9000, my apologies). This might already hint at where this is going, but just to drive the point home, here's the band's own description from their myspace

"The Galvatrons are four maverick, interstellar transformers from a future vortex where Gary Numan and Stan Bush are canonized and life is a euphoric, synthtracked montage of disco fist-pumping, 80s prom night pashes and Hollywood endings for bespectacled misfits. They're here to save the world."

While those of you who tend to think that the past should stay dead may be well advised to just click away from here right now, those who aren't scared yet should really stay, because I can't remember any recent albums being quite as much fun as The Galvatrons' debut "Laser Graffiti" is. As you might imagine, listening to it will bring all kinds of nostalgic band names to mind, such as Van Halen, Def Leppard, Kenny Loggins, Alphaville and Cheap Trick (just to name a few) and effectively, the sound is a bombastic mix of hair metal, disco and synth pop. The guitar and bass either chug away to provide weight or resound with epic echoes for added atmosphere. Meanwhile the synth delivers super catchy robotic melodies on top of solid, no-nonsense drumming and guitarist Johnny "Galvatron" crowns the expression, with vocals that are.. well, not exactly good in the technical sense, but if you could imagine a mix of Gene Simmons and Johnny Ramone (and maybe even the dude from Alphaville), you'd have a good impression of the kind of charismatic yelp he let's out.

Now while the intro and outro of this record both imply that what's sandwiched in between them is a grand space opera of titanic proportions, the actual content of the album does feature slightly more mundane themes, although still set in that.. euphoric, prom night-ish setting that the band themselves have hinted at. It is unspeakably cheesy, but because the band have effectively tapped into the power of bands like Van Halen and Def Leppard, they possess the audacity that's required to actually make it sound like they at least believe in their stuff themselves. And this is crucial, because rather than enjoy them momentarily as a joke band, this makes you want to secretly worship them as a guilty pleasure, effectively giving them more lasting power.

Personally though, I've never been one to be apologetic about my eccentric preferences, and thus I am of course all aboard this crazy train - How can I not be, when pretty much every single track out of this record's eleven, is super catchy and super fun? First listen puts the words "Her naaaame is Cassan-d-raaaa", from "Cassandra", in your mind. Second one makes you do the robot while singing along to "have you seen this kid, he's gonna' change the world! - inside computer games! inside computer games!" from "Robots Are Cool". Third one has you profess that you "never knew that she was only seeeventeeeeen!" as on "Laser Graffiti" and from then on, you're all set to also enjoy all the rest of the songs about that mysterious girl "Stella".

This is not deep, it's not technically impressive and it's hardly even original, but still, the way it's delivered makes it awesome and enjoyable in the same way as those lousy action hero cartoons you used to watch when you were a kid. This one's for everyone who ever loved Transformers, Top Gun, or owned a video game device older than the SNES - and it's the only thing I really really feel like listening to these days.

8

Download: Laser Graffiti, Light Speed, Cassandra, Robots Are Cool
For The Fans Of: Van Halen, Kenny Loggins, The Morning After, Blessed By A Broken Heart, The Darkness, Hot Leg
Listen: myspace.com/thegalvatrons

Release Date 04.07.2009
Warner Music

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