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The Robot Ate Me 

On Vacation

Wednesday, Mar 16 2005
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While it may seem like a stretch, the Robot Ate Me has made a charming concept album about racism, genocide, and a Jesus/Hitler fuck session. The San Diego trio's second release is actually a two-disc affair: the aforementioned concept LP, made to sound like a World War I radio broadcast heard from the safety of a bomb shelter, and a more straightforward collection of wistful indie rock songs, full of picnics, vacations, and apricot teas. The reason that leader Ryland Bouchard can get away with singing about African butcherings and Christian murder marathons is that he delivers his acidic lyrics in a lovely, bruised croon, matching them with a beguiling mix of old jazz samples, junk-pile percussion, and delicate violin. The results resemble a lo-fi version of (The Real) Tuesday Weld, without the arched eyebrow and literary pretensions. Impressive stuff.

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Dan Strachota

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