The Computers - Love Triangles, Hate Squares

For all of the frontman’s dynamism, he can’t save a frustratingly slow, out-of-date computer.

Label: One Little Indian

Rating: 5

When you think of computers, think not of today’s sleek, paper-thin social networking facilitators, with their HD screens and Beats audio; think more of the sort of boxy terminals with glowing green screens of text that used to illuminate the face of the young Elvis Costello, before he broke out with his Attractions. Like a rocket from the crypt, The Computers punch life into two tired genres - good ole’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, and good ole’ fashioned DC hardcore - by sticking the two in a rehearsal space in Exeter and making a right racket.

Singer Al Kershaw has more than a bit of the lounge lizard-via-southern England croon of early Costello to his voice, tinged by the East Coast influence (which actually makes him sound more like Patrick Stump than anyone who was ever signed to SST), and it does have some strength to it - ‘C R U E L’ is the trope-heavy tale of a temptress sang with a convincing facsimile of a heartbroken Buddy Holly.

Tracks like ‘Disco Sucks’ and ‘Bring Me The Head Of A Hipster’ are the real draw, as they’re the ones that most effectively fuse the distortion-heavy guitars and crashing drums with rockabilly rhythms and harmonica - not to mention doo-wop backing vocals - but they’re actually in the minority. For all their posturing as tattooed, edgy punks who happen to share an appreciation both for Henry Rollins and Bill Haley, most of the album (which, perhaps crucially, was recorded in Georgia with Black Keys producer Mark Neil) is more concerned with the latter; which is actually… kind of boring. And for all of the frontman’s dynamism, he can’t save a frustratingly slow, out-of-date computer.