Car Stereo (Wars)
The Bandit (Artifact Workshop)
Reviewed by Marc Savlov, Fri., Aug. 31, 2007
Car Stereo (Wars)The Bandit (Artifact Workshop)
Beauty Bar mash-up master Car Stereo (Wars), aka Christopher Rose, debuts a disclong bout of sample-and-loop-happy hip-pop schizophrenia, the stuttery, mix-'n'-match sound of dance-floor chaos chopped and dropped and revving like a '77 Pontiac Firebird jammed into permanent first gear. Opener "Who Likes Nick McKenna?" segues from Lil Mama's "Lip Gloss" to Modest Mouse's "Float On" to Beastie Boys' "Sure Shot" and beyond, all layered over a raucous, surging percussion track, itself cobbled together from at least three other pop charts. More than half the fun of The Bandit comes from identifying the mad scatter of song snippets, but it's not always a pretty picture: "Sonny Hooper's in This House" places Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" and Baltimore head-case DJ Funk's "There's Some Hoes in This House" alongside Starship's "We Built This City" with the result being neither slick nor graceful yet oddly, bombastically satisfying. Best taken in small doses or, preferably, on the dance floor after 10 too many, this is 33 minutes of retrofitted pop-rocks cunningly articulated to cram as much sonic detritus into its Smokey and the Bandit-titled tracks as possible, the justification being that one good dollop of FM nostalgia slammed up against a propulsive urban backbeat deserves another (and another and another). Too often CS(W)'s manic, Girl Talk-y, ADHD style results in short-circuited grooves, and by the time your inner booty-shaker settles into a "song," it's almost always already over and on to the next: Adderall rock for Ritalin kids who can't stop the music no matter what.