Queen used to put disclaimers in its records proudly stating that "no synthesizers were used on this record." Of course, that was before the '80s enslaved the world -- Freddie Mercury and crew included -- in a Tron-like dystopia of silicon chips and squiggly blips. Delaware's Mixel Pixel still lives there, but the trio of Rob Corradetti, Kaia Wong and Matt Kaukeinen ekes out nail-bitten art rock that's, thankfully, a far cry from today's hordes of retro Reagan-era electro. Although awash in the neutered android whine of vintage synths, MP's new disc, Contact Kid, is more spiritually akin to Beck's Stereopathetic Soulmanure or even Syd Barrett than to the Killers. Still, a dose of '80s obsession surfaces on Contact's"At the Arcade," in which Corradetti croons, "I saw you playing Ms. Pacman/I threw down my quarters and looked into your big blue eyes." Of course, with that much of a fried-circuit fetish, the fact that Mixel Pixel is officially sponsored by Radio Shack doesn't hurt, either.
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