Projekt A-ko - Yoyodyne
Richard Wink 27/04/2009
Taking their name from an influential Japanese Anime film, Scottish indie pop trio Projekt A-ko are made up of former members from critically neglected Scottish indie stalwarts Urusei Yatsura. Fans of Urusei will be pleased to know that Projekt A-ko don't stray far from their former band's lo-fi sound. For those not familiar, A-ko could best be described as a sour pink milkshake topped with chocolate sprinkles, a mix of The Pastels and Pavement.
The slightly twee and more than irreverent indie pop scene has again bloomed in the shape of giddy bands like Dananananaykroyd and Los Campesinos! The knitted cardigan innocence and cartoon personas might be off putting for some though, so if you fancy something with a little more scratch and bustle then Projekt A-ko will be more your cup of tea.
Continuing the band's pop culture obsession, the album title Yoyodyne refers to the fictional tyrannical company that is prevalent in two Thomas Pynchon novels; which gives the band one million scenester points (Congratulations! You win nothing but a droll headache and an overwhelming sense of disappointment).
Yoyodyne introduces a storylined cast of weird and wonderful characters including Doctor Kevorkian, Pablo Neruda, Picasso and Elvis Presley. First we are introduced to the son of Lou Reed's fictional queen Sister Ray in 'Hey Palooka!', a spirited piece of indie Brit fuzz. What really sticks in your ears is the wonderfully lush vocal harmonies from Fergus Lawrie and Elaine Graham, a shining feature throughout the album.
And this is an album: in the age of disjointed iPod skips and shuffles, the renaissance of the one off single (are you sure? - Ed.)and carefully compiled mix and match Spotify playlists, Yoyodyne is somewhat of a throwback.
Highlights include the screechy noise pop of 'Nothing Works Twice' and 'Scintilla', a near perfect dream song that makes you imagine what might happen if The Rentals lost the moog and then attempted to cover a Pavement ballad; 'Utopia' with its abrasive feedback freakout, and 'Otaku Blue' a loose, flowing song that is reminiscent of the Cure.
Self described as 'shoegaze pop', Projekt A-ko may be staring at their battered converse through distortion and heavy bass, but they do so with a knowing smirk. Hip Hip hooray! At last a ramshackle band has somehow managed to combine chaotic fuzz with sumptuous melody, in the process creating an album that is oddly resplendent.