April 20th, 2011 | Album reviews

michael thomas candido

Download IMA Robot “Ruthless”


(from Another Man’s Treasure available now from IMA Robot)

Dear reader, if you’re anything like me a friend has demanded you listen to this new song called “Home” by this new guy named, like, Albert Sharpe and his band the Something Somethings, and isn’t it just wonderful? And you’ve probably carelessly retorted with something like, “Oh, that’s Alex Ebert from Ima Robot … ” as your friend stopped paying attention and pressed the repeat button on the car stereo. Does anyone listen to the other songs on that album? Mercifully, Alex wasn’t too trapped in his new folksy persona to persevere as frontman of the long-absent Ima Robot. IMAR was dance-punk when the smart money was in dance-punk, but their sonic wanderlust eventually threw them from the MTV2 train. And while their last album seemed to attempt the chart-ready boogie of “Dynomite,” Another Man’s Treasure makes absolutely no effort to hide the band’s itinerant tastes. With the average song on AMT being six minutes long, the tone is ponderous, and each new sound is given plenty of room to merge into the expressways of each track. Ebert chants, croons, and hushes in service of the greater instrumental aims of the album. Gone are the lightning wails of 2003. The new Ima Robot is more patient, more complex, and more exploratory than ever, and that’s an impressive accomplishment. They probably won’t sell any Ford Fiestas with this album. But, as the album asserts, this ain’t necessarily that bad of a bad thing.

—Matt Dupree