At least this band delivers on the promise of its name. From the opening track, "Battle of the Rabbits," you feel as though you've time-warped back to a fictional past when the club Tech Noir wished it could play music this frenetic. If Mr. Pacman fronted the Nails and ditched the horns, you'd get something like this: Fuzzy, relentless bass to match the strong if spare drumming and urgent yet equally minimal synth work behind barely clipped vocals make everything sound slightly tongue-in-cheek. Revisiting early-'80s new wave has rarely been this lively and curiously devoid of kitsch since the Faint put out Danse Macabre. If anything, Pep*Squad sounds as though it's trying to awaken the latent dance moves in its audience through sheer enthusiasm.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.