Diet Audio ­ Ecraez L' Infame (

Cincinnati's Diet Audio might want to put their own sound on a diet. The foursome's debut CD, Ecrasez L' Infame (the phrase, taken from Voltaire, means "crush infamy," which he used as a batt

 
Diet Audio — Ecraez L' Infame



Cincinnati's Diet Audio might want to put their own sound on a diet. The foursome's debut CD, Ecrasez L' Infame (the phrase, taken from Voltaire, means "crush infamy," which he used as a battle cry against monotheisms) is full of intriguing noises and sounds and is an adroit, imaginative blend of Electronica and AltRock, recalling the dark kings and queens of '80s New Wave (The Cure, Siouxsie, etc.), but with enough modern technological garnishment to keep it from sounding like a straight-up throwback. The "excess fat" of the album comes when the band delves too far into Hard Rock, something that occurs most flagrantly on the opening song, "In the Dark." The track placement is curious — potential fans might be turned off, but a record exec might offer them a deal thinking they are the next Evanescence. Neither should be fooled. After that opening, Diet Audio progresses through 10 songs of mostly captivating Art Rock, incorporating strings, turntables, synths and saxophone to construct a moody, quixotic and often gorgeous backdrop to singer Amy Whitaker's elegant, unsmiling vocals. "Shake" picks up the more artful thread with its mesmeric cello, electronic drums, fuzzed-out bass, drizzling effects and dizzying vocal echoes. The song ends in a flurry of scratches from turntablist The Late Circuit. The melody of "Pretty" recalls The Cure's "Love Song," as the band conjures gliding atmospherics, while "Naked" sounds like it could have been a more rockin' B-side of Berlin's "Sex." The album ends with a trio of more purely "Electronica" songs. They are dark, crafty blends — touching on Trip Hop and Electro Clash — that will leave listeners who are looking for something a bit more challenging wishing the whole album had been done that way. Diet Audio hosts a CD release party Friday at Northside's Decibel Lounge (formerly alchemize) with guests Wussy and Hungry Lucy. (MB) Grade: B