I’m here for any band that sounds like they could soundtrack an 80s class video about the wonders of science, so I was pumped at the news of a new EP from Operator Music Band. The group released their debut album Puzzlephonics I + II this year, and have been a steady presence at DIY spots like The Glove.
On their new EP Coördination the band channels a lot of the same vibes as Guerilla Toss’ latest album GT Ultra. Dara Hirsch’s intonation on “Realistic Saturation” amidst the trippy pop background brings to mind songs “Skull Pop” and “Dose Rate.” Operator Music Band’s sprawling closing song “Moto Komplete” has a similar hallucinogenic haze.
However, the act doesn’t always fit into the same mold. Where Guerilla Toss often frantically veer of melodic course, Operator Music Band stay locked in formation by the Motorkik beat.
The band’s “artful” AKA 80s retro sound never sacrifices groove for aesthetics. Hirch’s guitar playing and Jared Hiller’s analogue synths (as well as their call and response vocals) often seemingly egg each other on, verging from dreamy to danceable. On the brief guitar breakdowns during “Realistic Breakdown,” the harmonies of “Communicator 4,” and the entirety of “Sunk” they channel the offbeat charm of The B-52s. While Operaor Music Band’s music doesn’t posses the same level of absurdist whimsy or pep as “Rock Lobster,” they have the same sense of fun. On standout track “Alarmed” they have the same sense of “we’re a band of weirdos having a good time. Come dance!” that made the early records by the Athens band so fun.
These are the kinds of songs that will inspire you to strike a series of poses in your kitchen while eating a hot dog. It’s also, despite what you may read elsewhere, especially boundary pushing. This doesn’t mean that Coördination isn’t worth your time. Operator Music Band’s chic yet familiar sound makes their songs approachable even as they sound high-brow. Play them at your next smokey bohemian party.