White Heat

Think About Life fire up indie-electronic thrash.

Sometimes music is like an animal that resists physical boundaries. The recorded medium is a prison of sorts, and some albums sound as though the tunes are ready to slash their way free of those sonic confines.

Think About Life, an electro/thrash/indie outfit from Canada, possess the same high- tension-wire insanity of bands like the Fire Engines while maintaining a strong sense of histrionic melody on par with their compatriots the Arcade Fire. Their self-titled debut is simultaneously high-strung and goofy as hell, suggesting what might happen if you locked poppy punks in a garage, replacing their guitars with keyboards.

The peppy opening number, "Paul Cries," starts with a primitive riff that sounds like someone playing a keyboard with a fork before the drum machine kicks in, infusing the tune so full of adrenaline it could get sports teams revved up. Frontman Martin Cesar mumbles the lyrics "Put on your shoes and your clothes/Get set, get set for life" before screaming the onomatopoeic chorus "BAH-BAH-DA-BA-DA/ BAH-BA-DA-BA-DA-DA-Daaah!!!!" Though none of those words will mean a damn thing to you until you hear the disc, they serve as the crux of Think About Life's power. Not to mention the vocals are so fuzzed out, it sounds like they're ready to blow out your stereo speakers. The music could easily slip into the dead zone of simple electro-pop, but the group takes it to the next level by destroying their throats over ridiculously catchy choruses. Not that chafed vocal cords are the only thing the band has going for it. In fact, nearly every track ("Commander Riker's Party," "Money") is a sweaty sing-along. They even scored a guest spot by rapper Subtitle for "Where the Future Might Be" and have the most trash-tastic cover artwork, replete with colored-pencil drawings of basketball players and a photo collage featuring Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (hell, yeah!).

Given that the disc is bursting with hot energy, it's only a matter of time before the band breaks free from the limits of obscurity. The fact that they're from "It City" Montreal will certainly work to their advantage, and an opening stint with Wolf Parade last year has only added to that buzz. An upcoming track will also appear on The Believer's Music Issue compilation. Taking those factors into account, this is probably not the last time you'll be hearing from Think About Life.

bbarr@seattleweekly.com

 
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