Robotique Majestique

Thomas Turner stands at a keyboard flanked by a stack of knobs and buttons resembling a cheesy set from TV’s Lost in Space . Donning a high-collared sequined cape, he produces a numbing series of New Wave drum machine beats and electronics. Aaron Behrens, alongside in tight jeans and long pigtails, employs dance moves somewhere between John Travolta’s and Bruce Lee’s and sings in what could best be called a controlled screech. Obviously, you get this or you don’t. Those who do, the ones who catapulted Austin’s Ghostland Observatory to a national stage, know how this pair does more with less for an energetic, blistering live act. But to what end? Their third album, Robotique Majestique (Trashy Moped), picks up right where they left off, opening in almost comically clichéd fashion. All the best dance tunes have a healthy helping of kitsch, but aside from “Heavy Heart” and the title track, what’s here feels awfully thin. While bands from the Pet Shop Boys to LCD Soundsystem have hung their careers on signature music, Ghostland’s material is making them seem a bit vaporous.

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