Veteran Memphis swamp-pop band The Grifters can claim probably a dozen side projects between its four members. Some -- notably Those Bastard Souls -- claim a fairly close allegiance to the Southern Gothic ethos espoused by the band. Others, like The Bloodthirsty Lovers (also a dalliance of TBS founder Dave Shouse), are a bit more far removed. A guitar/drums/keyboard trio, the Lovers explore the dark, electronic corners of Shouse's songwriting and many of the songs on this 11-track "datapunk" album (their genre term, not mine) are quite new wave in nature. Though it's obvious Shouse didn't intend to hop on the electroclash bandwagon -- this album was recorded over 18 months ago -- tracks like "Telepathic" and, er, "Datapunk" definitely come off like the twisted, ugly cousins of the latest techno-glam superstars. Of course, there's still a creepy undertone to all of the tracks, because no matter how cyber a Southern boy gets, he's always got that crazy aunt in the attic that keeps him from forgetting where he came from.
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