LADYTRON land at the Phoenix October 5. See listing. Rating: NNNN
There were plenty of incredulous remarks about Ladytron's longevity when they released their best-of several months back. It came as a shock to many of us that the band could be a decade in, with a substantial arsenal of hits to show for it. After all, shouldn't these co-ed Europeans have died a miserable electro-clash death long ago?
Their confident fifth effort doesn't rely on singles the way past records have. Few songs are immediately infectious, yet the complete album of moody synth-rock moves them closer to being the next Depeche Mode. Opener White Elephant sets a cool, dark, melodic tone that carries through to instrumental closer Aces High, one of three vocal-free compositions. Hard-driving Helen Marnie-sung tune Melting Ice, meanwhile, is surely Ladytron's steely attempt at self-aware irony.
Top track: Moon Palace