Album Review: Battery Operated Orchestra – Snare

Battery Operated Orchestra might hail from Brighton but, in a previous incarnation as Katsen, they emerged on Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation. Which seemed very appropriate even then given the quality of their Kraftwerk-inspired synthpop, which would never have been out of place in the Steel City at any time over the last 30-odd years. Now several albums into their BOO incarnation, the duo have really nailed their more sombre but still pop-inflected electronica.

Snare sounds terrific. The music cycles between bleakly sparkling sounds, gloomy atmospherics and slightly nerdish radiophonics. But all of it is brimming with melody and complements Brigitte’s slightly icy Eurovocal perfectly. For all their chinstroking value what shines through the songs goes way beyond an academic appreciation of what makes for good electropop into a proper love of the form. And that, on tracks like Bella and Optical, translates into real warmth and hopefulness.

On Snare BOO have managed to smooth out some of the static crackle of earlier records without losing their charm and sense of enthusiasm. Allow yourself to be caught.

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