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[>_<] (Frantic Mantis)
Data Is Not Information
Lujo Records


To many, the British are the exemplars of Rock's refinement and polish. For my money though, nobody can distill that most potent of Rock & Roll's deadly elixirs (and no, I haven't got a name for the stuff) like the Swedes can. Data Is Not Information is a scarier and more urgent Future Shock than those purveyed by the likes of Instant Camera or Corporate MF. Imagine the reverberated noise and sini-surf of Strange and the impenetrable obscurity of Man Or Astroman? overlaid with the fuzzy buzz-effects of an old Atari 2600 donkey-tail-pinned to a punk foundation and reinterpreted through the intimidating glare of Arthur Harrison's 490 Sequencer.

Take a look at the song titles. So yeah, I thought this was dead, this whole Cyberpunk thing. (re-billed by Frantic Mantis as "Data-Punk") It's been more than 20 years now, but it seems as though the day after tomorrow will always be the day after tomorrow; disappointment is born out in "Economy is the Enemy" as the narrator laments that the gleaming future of the '50s never comes. No, we are merely in a technologically advanced dark age. This is possibly the most "punk" track you will ever hear, and yet, 1-minute into the song it sounds nothing like punk at all. This is where rage is at its most impotent; when it's ground down and casually kicked into the gutter.

So, take note all you other pop-punk posers, this is why you suck: punk isn't about HOW or WHAT you play; it's about WHY you play. When all you need is to consume to live, Punk hates those who live to consume. Punk doesn't claim to have or be the answer. Punk is anger arisen over the realization that there is no answer; as this album's unpronounceable coda matter-of-factly states: "No conclusion: insufficient data received."

If I have one complaint about Data Is Not Information it's that I can occasionally hear the affectations of that brand of punk whose sound has been hijacked by those with an insipid message. The surf-punk stuff contained herein still has the greatest urgency and angst, and thankfully is of a style that hasn't yet been usurped by those corporate assholes who think that screaming about cheating girlfriends into a microphone somehow makes you dangerous and edgy.

-JD

Track Listing:
1. Creation Sickness
2. Obsessive Online Community Drones
3. My Eyes Feel Too Large for the Sockets
4. 2600 Meeting at Pentagon City Mall in 1994
5. Dark Horizons
6. Soundlurkers
7. Glappkontakt
8. Mantis Rising
9. Delta to Delta
10. The Brooding Polychromes of an Almost Unthinkably Advanced Decay
11. Economy is the Enemy
12. Data is not Information
13. There is Only the Moment and That is Where He Prefers to Be
14. ;asjdf0op4544564ejkgl;s3djag5

Enhanced CD Extras:
1. Underground Documentary Footage


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Mike Doughty



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