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Erase Errata 

Nightlife

Wednesday, Jul 26 2006
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Dance-punk may be passé, but it sounds like the ladies of Bay Area terror-pop trio Erase Errata never got the memo. And that's a good thing because their flash was never in the same pan as expendable losers like the Rapture or the Faint. E.E.'s new album Nightlife jerks and trembles like a terrified fly caught in a spider web, and it's a valiant, doomed struggle on display. Drummer Bianca Sparta lives up to her last name, keeping the tunes regulated with Raincoats-y grumpy-thumping and judicious use of cymbals, and Ellie Erickson fills out the rhythm section with gruffly commanding bass grooves. Album opener "Cruising" crackles with dark electricity as singer Jenny Hoyston's tight, no-wave guitar line explodes into a brief freakout before taming itself and chugging spastically along again. The freewheeling rocker "Rider" (one of two songs to hit the three-minute mark here) sounds like E.E's matron-saints Kleenex/Lilliput trying to escape from a dark basement. On the last record the band added welcome and unexpected instrumentation like trumpets and strings, but Nightlife is stripped back down to the basics. The angular post-punk formula, which is now a good 30 years old, does start to sound a little tired on some of these tracks, like the no-brainer herky-jerk of "Giant Hans," but even if there's nothing particularly new on display, Erase Errata continues to keep the old household tidy and inviting.

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Frances Reade

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