Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., Feb. 11, 2005
Chartorseau (Ant Lunch Musick)
A transmission from the past once advised a restless generation to "kill yr idols." One earful of Baby Robots' Chartorseau and it's obvious they too have had a love affair with early-Nineties noise rock, with Sixties psych as their mistress. The Austin foursome's latest album careens along the roads forged by bands like Sonic Youth, who gave the advice mentioned above, and Pavement, stopping to pick up a few Day-Glo stragglers for the excursion. The trip leads off with "Underwater Treatment," a summertime-with-the-windows-down pop anthem that reassures, "You are not a clone." "Bye Bye Earthie" is a fuzzed-out love letter to nuclear annihilation, pinned back with singer Bobby Baker's pointed lyrics ("And you will run, everyone is screaming, it won't be so fun. Nothing left on TV.") The mellow "Stars and Heads" drowns in a wave of feedback and confusion. "Deflated Brain" is Dinosaur Jr. guitar riffage, and "Hotel City Inn," a song about a seedy roadside hotel in Florida (where all four members are originally from), swerves and glitters into the sunset, asking the question: "Is there light in your room? Is there anyone else but you?" Chartorseau isn't at all polished, but then it wasn't really meant to be. The tattered edges, the sonic exhaust, and the mountains of distortion veer slightly to the left of their dreamy, effects-laden 2001 LP Lakitu. The communiqué may have been "kill yr idols," but Baby Robots just want to make a few future transmissions of their own.