Servotron

  • Servotron
  • No Room for Humans (Amphetamine Reptile) 1996 
  • Spare Parts EP (Amphetamine Reptile) 1997 
  • Entertainment Program for Humans (Second Variety) (Lookout!) 1998 

It should come as no surprise that, in the enlightened era of cyber-dominance, a band has emerged to loosen the human grip on musical culture. A robot rock band. And should it come as a surprise that said band includes members of Man or Astro-Man? and Supernova? (Only prior to their proper full length release on AmRep.) Servotron’s familiar touchstones (Devo, the Rezillos, B-52s, Gary Numan) serve them well on No Room for Humans. After the I, Robot angle wears off, there’s a good bit of music left to chew on. Lyrically, Servotron is selling chilly “all humans will die” sci-fi (cf. “Moving Parts” & “Bad Birthday”). The sterile calculation of the recording process is perhaps the only real flaw of this otherwise great record.

Spare Parts contains remixes (by Californians/fellow keyboard aficionados the Moog Cookbook) and live tracks. Entertainment Program for Humans finds the band of screws and bolts more rhythmically powered, replacing the stiff, abrupt feel of its debut with a warmer, more melodic one. A compelling and highly entertaining rollercoaster.

[Henry H. Owings]