by John Selwyn
Naytronix is the moniker of Nate Brenner, best known as bassist/contributor to the eclectic recording project Tune-Yards, brainchild of songwriter/composer Merill Garbus.
Where Tune-Yards is sporadic and often challenging music that will break off into more and more complex structures and rhythmical tangents, Naytronix’s first official full-length “Dirty Glow” as a whole, is quite simple and easy to digest if not ignore completely.
With claims written that Brenner is “half robot” it’s not surprising that half of his lyrics, of which there are few, are sung through vocoder, and like those claims, the whole thing is pretty silly.
Instrumental opener “Hangin’ Out” does little more than the title suggests and could easily be theme music for the next off-the-cuff sketch comedy show or Adult Swim cartoon. Luckily, Brenner doesn’t hesitate to bring the weirdness, intertwining his simple lyrics with cheesy synths and back and forth time signatures, but things fall short around the second half, most notably on “Lead The Way” where Robo Boy sings half-heartedly and unconvincingly, “Don’t just sit and watch the world pass you by”…”We can lead the way.”
There are some really fun moments on the album; some space-lounge atmospherics and techno-circus melodies such as on Devo/Krautrock-esque single “Robotic”. Closing track “Evil Dancer” is somewhat of a stand-out track, and it’s a funky tune, just not funky enough to captivate listeners for more than a few measures.
Kids will enjoy laughing along with Brenner as he laughs at himself, and there is definite fun to be had with “Dirty Glow”, but it’s a record which will most likely be forgotten about quickly, tucked away to collect dust. That, or wind up in the used indie rock bin sooner than expected.
Perhaps Brenner should stick to doing what he does best, assisting Tune-Yards and Merill Garbus, a woman whose natural potential seems to be limitless and whose music is far more exciting and intriguing than what her bass player has been constructing on his own.