Even the most hardened of hipsters will admit that electroclash is dead, at least for now. Fischerspooner and Ladytron had a good run, but, inevitably, they've lost some of their flavor with the Converse-clad crowd. With electroclash's demise comes its subtle, more engaging little sister, indietronica, which trades electroclash's cold, synthesized robotics for warmer melodies and muted vocals. Few bands embrace the lo-fi genre as well as Germany's Lali Puna. As with previous albums, the band's third release marries spliced, organic beats to Valerie Trebeljahr's whisper of a voice; it's the sound of nightlife winding down. That's not to say that "Faking the Books" is forgettable background music. Au contraire: It begs to be heard with meaty guitars on "Micronomic" and relentless drums on "B-Movie." If Interpol could lighten up a bit, they might have recorded a song like "Grin and Bear," with its layers of catchy guitar hooks and sunny vocals. Lyrics are nearly elliptical ("Big mistakes/ Biggest hurt/ My whole past behind glass. . ."), but they complement equally minimalist melodies. Yes, "Faking the Books" is familiar terrain for Lali Puna, but hey, why mess with what works so well?
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