SALARYMAN Karoshi (City Slang)

Some definitions first: "Karoshi" is a Japanese term meaning 'death from overwork', and "Salaryman" is both a Japanese term for a 9-to-5 office worker and the alter-ego of Illinois former punks The Poster Children. Having discovered the delights of such non-punk instrumentation as keyboards, electric drums, theremins and television sets they've forged a parallel two album career as purveyors of desperately modern instrumental rock music. Imagine Trans Am being produced by Eno, or the Aphex Twin trying to mutate himself into The Clash and you'd get as close as words could take you to the sounds on display here.

Unfortunately there remains something studied and painstakingly theoretical about the music of Salaryman. Their melodies sound like they’ve been arrived at by mathematical iteration rather than composition, the sort of thing that would work a treat behind frenetic chase sequences in some Hollywood sci-fi potboiler but which seem aeons away from the sort of futuristic funk the band seem to believe they're cooking up. Maybe a spell in the studio with visionary post-rock figures like Dave Pajo or John McEntire could put them on the right track, or even some of whatever magic fairy dust Dave Fridmann sprinkles over every album he produces. Perhaps they just need to write songs that actually live up to titles like "Thomas Jefferson Airplane" and "My Dog Has Fleas", rather than the less-than-ironically monikered "Dull Normal". Unfortunately, in their present incarnation, listening to Salaryman is rather too much like hard work.