Review Summary: Nope, it’s nothing to do with Transformers. This is Chee-za-eee Synth-Rock straight out of the 80s.
Have you ever had one of those experiences when someone states something and you instantly laugh thinking the person is either joking or at least exaggerating profusely? Their stunned reaction of silence, disgust or embarrassment immediately conveys to you that they were 100% serious and your response was inappropriate. It is the same feeling one feels when you listen to Australian quartet The Galvatrons’ debut full-length release ‘Laser Graffiti’… You simply have no idea whether the album is a serious endeavor, or one big prank for $hits and giggles!
Having only formed in mid 2007, The Galvatrons play a flamboyant & high-energy brand of synth-rock that is straight out of the 1980s. ‘Laser Graffiti’ also has a Queen-like sci-fi bent that is immediately shown on 70 second introductory track ‘And So They Invade…’, which includes more than a touch of the ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ theme, before the band vocally declare “We’re here to save the world”! The Flash Gordon vibe then continues on follow-up ‘The First Starfighter’, on which lead vocalist Johnny Galvatron methodically informs “We’ve lost all power to main controls”!
Oh, but the fun does not stop there. It seems like our captain for this journey into space also has a disease which makes him over-enunciate certain words. On the album’s 2nd single, he somehow turns ‘Cassandra’ into a four syllable word. Band is “bund”, France is “Fruntz” and I seriously did a double-take on the title track when he said the word “can’t”. Although, that may have also had something to do with the fact that the song’s chorus is “Well I never ever knew that she was only 17”!
On the positive side of the ledger, The Galvatrons do pull out a few catchy cuts. The aforementioned ‘Cassandra’ wriggles its way into your mind like an infectious disease, while lead single ‘We Were Kids’ & ‘She’s In Love’ prove that the band are at their best when leaning towards the keys-heavy hard-rock of Van Halen. Unfortunately, it all gets too ridiculous & repetitive after a while, resulting in the album feeling front-loaded. Worse yet, ballads ‘Stella’ and closer ‘Galaxy Destroyer’ are rather boring, which is quite a feat for music which is so outlandish and in-your-face.
During a recent interview, David Lee Roth look-alike Johnny Galvatron declared “we tried to make every song as ridiculous as we could”. While even this statement is difficult to take entirely seriously, one almost feels like giving credit to the band for their dedication in meeting objectives. The fact that many songs are so outlandish & fun makes them memorable in a way that could earn the LP extra plays over passable albums. However, when all is said and done, ‘Laser Graffiti’ can only be recommended to those who like overblown power-chords, highly-mixed synths/keys, and trips into outer space.
Recommended Tracks: We Were Kids & Cassandra.