Litronix has been kicking around for years now, and his debut LP Pump the Gas is not only worth the wait, but a product of it. Written and recorded over the four years Litrow spent living above a gas station at the corner of Venice & Lincoln, its tales of West L.A. slackers, bums, and self-righteous hippies will be as familiar to Angelenos as our semiweekly stops at fuel stations." /> LITRONIX: PUMP THE GAS | L.A. RECORD

LITRONIX: PUMP THE GAS

June 16th, 2017 | Album reviews

LITRONIX
Pump the Gas
Porch Party Records

Kevin Litrow’s subversive synth-pop project Litronix has been kicking around for years now, and his debut LP Pump the Gas is not only worth the wait, but a product of it. Written and recorded over the four years Litrow spent living above a gas station at the corner of Venice & Lincoln, its tales of West L.A. slackers, bums, and self-righteous hippies will be as familiar to Angelenos as our semiweekly stops at fuel stations. Lead single “Are You New Age?” kicks the album off with soothing pads and ramshackle drum machines, Litrow suggesting to “Throw a party, practice happiness!” It isn’t until later that his sardonic self-help caricature comes into full view: “I don’t recall, what’s your name? / 5-HTP, Tryptophan!” It isn’t all condescension, of course —while “Good Life” has Litrow bemoaning “waking up inside a world that parties all day long,” he concedes he’s “healthy as can be—love surrounds my soul!” The track’s stretched-out krautrock groove is assisted by producer Avi Buffalo, who has been recording and performing with the band for a couple of years now. Seen as a duo, it might be tempting to compare Litronix to lo-fi pioneers Suicide, though Litrow and Buffalo’s fondness for dueling guitar solos (“New Roads”) and angelic falsetto runs (“Hole in the Wall”) suggest an alternate reality where Rev and Vega eventually joined the ranks of the new wave giants they influenced. Where Pump the Gas’s infectious experiments end up taking Litrow remains to be seen—at the very least, hopefully away from Venice & Lincoln.

—Zach Bilson