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Computers Want Me Dead - Computers Want Me Dead EP Review

08 Apr 2011 // A review by sidvicious

Electro-synth pop is one of my favourite genres of music and it’s refreshing to see kiwi kids experimenting with it. Computers Want Me Dead, like Kids of 88 and The Naked and Famous, are part of that group of young New Zealanders who are proving that we can make synthpop just as catchy and fun as our British and Germanic counterparts. The Auckland based duo’s self-titled EP is the first of hopefully many releases we’ll see from these guys.  

It’s a fun album, with lots of feeling and funk. Opening with their hit single Letters and Numbers, it’s immediately obvious that Computers Want Me Dead have a talent for creating catchy beats. It’s the type of sound that makes you move and hum without even realising you’re doing it, taking hold of you within the first thirty seconds of the album. Their lyrics have a cutesy charm about them. Not surprisingly, they’re songs about girls. Their lyrics aren’t profound or complicated, but they’re not trying to be, nor should they; synthpop doesn’t give the impression of deep thinking philosophers – it’s far too fun.

One hang up I do have with the record is the lack of vocal power. I appreciate that electro pop is a genre born of drum machines and synthesizers, and correspondingly, vocals can sometimes take a backseat. But my favourite synth groups are those that manage to create catchy beats with strong, compelling vocals and I feel that is the one area that Computers Want Me Dead are lacking. It’s not as though these guys have a lack of vocal talent, which can only mean it’s a stylistic choice. I’m sure vocals drowning in auto-tuning synthesizers is a style that a lot of people do appreciate, but I feel like the music would benefit hugely if the boys allowed their raw vocal talent to come through.

Maybe not coincidently, my favourite track by far on the album is the purely instrumental closing track, Fell Down Every Flight. The technical skill is obvious in every beat and jump. They know how to craft fun and happy music, and it’s hard to put in words the way music like that can inject a certain lightness into your step. And that’s really the most important thing about any album, making its listener feel something. The Computers Want Me Dead EP does that and then some. As a debut release, it shows huge amounts of promise for these young musicians and I’m excited to see this record develop into a full length LP.

Words by Kate McCarten


About Computers Want Me Dead

Computers Want Me Dead is a two-piece electro-synth pop band consisting of Sam Harvey and Damien Daniels.

At 18, Sam Harvey was the vocalist in a punk band called the Dark Town Strutters. At 19, he started producing textural electronic music under the moniker 'Plastic Flowers On Video'. By 21, he had joined a goth/industrial band with long time friends ('Decoma'), but soon left this band to continue his exploration of music and genre. It was in Los Angeles in 2003 that he discovered his passion for synth-pop.

Damien Daniels, who was raised in Hong Kong and is the son of two prominent 80's TV personalities, spent much of his teenage years listening to 'intellectual dance music', and spent a couple of years playing synth and bass in a synth-rock band called 'The Beautiful Burn'.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Computers Want Me Dead


Computers Want Me Dead
Year: 2011
Type: EP

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