ALLSTON - The folks at Apple must be drowning in thank-you notes from the bands grateful to have been placed in their iPod television commercials. We're guessing the one from British dance-rock duo the Ting Tings - whose song "Shut Up and Let Me Go" is currently in rotation - was short and to the point.
Concise and sharp is the group's specialty on its straightforward but effervescent debut disc, "We Started Nothing": fist-pumping rhythms, simple guitar licks, catchy choruses, the end. The Ting Tings didn't veer from that specialty at a sold-out Great Scott Thursday night in their Boston debut. Singer-guitarist-keyboardist Katie White and singer-drummer-guitarist Jules DiMartino zipped through nine of the 10 tracks from the new album in less than an hour with scruffy good cheer.
Forced to re-create the full band sound of the record, the pair multitasked with brisk efficiency. DiMartino, sporting sunglasses, stomped on the bass pedal while strumming his guitar for the itchy opener "We Walk" and triggered loops and rhythm tracks all while serving dry vocal counterpoint to White.
She, in turn, whacked a cowbell and a huge bass drum, loosed synth wails, and ground out the licks while bounding around the stage when possible. The breathless switcheroos never felt harried, however; they just added to the swinging B-52s-meet-Fountains of Wayne party vibe.
A couple of tunes bordered on overkill by the 10th time through the chorus. When you're improvising a groove, maybe this kind of extension makes sense. But if you're just continually chanting "the drums, the drums, the drums," as they did on the initially charming, new-wave strummer "Great DJ," it would've been wiser to close up shop a little earlier. But then other songs couldn't have gone on long enough. With each go round of the irresistible "That's Not My Name," White torqued up the excitement level with her peeved rap as DiMartino punched out the giddy groove.
As snotty, insistent slaves to the beat, the vocals erred on the side of speak-singing for most of the set with the welcome exception of the lilting waltz "Traffic Light." White showed off a girlishly pretty soprano capable of vulnerability as she tried to ward off a romantic breakdown.
With an intriguing combination of shyness and defiance, Anni Rossi bravely faced the few dozen folks listening to her opening set with only her viola and her throaty soprano. Both offered rich textures and ripples of emotion as she tapped out a beat and plucked and bowed her way through covers including the Cure's "In Between Days" and her own soaring and swooping signature track, "Wheelpusher."