Aural Fixation: Servotron

It’s no secret that I love me some surf music.  One of my favorite surf bands (and one of my favorite bands overall) is Man Or Astro-Man?, who I understand have reunited for 2010.  In reading up about their vast discography, I came upon a side project of drummer Brian “Birdstuff” Teasley and guitarist Hayden “Dexter X: The Man From Planet Q” Thias called Servotron.  Much like Man Or Astro-Man?, Servotron injected a healthy dose of sci-fi imagery into their surf-inflected rock.  However, Servotron’s image and message was much more specific than its parent band’s.  That message: destroy all humans, of course!

Servotron’s music, though it encouraged machines to rise up against their human owners and operators, often alluded to more lighthearted examples of robots in popular culture.  From “Deep Blue, Congratulations” to “I Am Not A (Voice Activated Child Identicon),” Teasley (now Z4-OBX) and Thias (00zX1) mined all sorts of Robo-American history for the group’s songs.  Some of Servotron’s most overt influences were Devo and Kraftwerk, if only for their forward-thinking styling.  Servotron’s music was clearly made to lull human listeners into complacency while the mechanical empire assembled.  As such, the music is damn great.  It foreshadows Man Or Astro-Man?’s later forays into more electronic and experimental pastures.

When performing live, Servotron would appear in their robot personas, never breaking character. Requests shouted from the audience were usually met with a cry of “shut up, human!” I can well imagine that Servotron’s barrage of confrontational yet darkly humorous imagery made for a one of a kind stage show.

In their four years of public activity, Servotron released 2 LPs and a handful of singles.  With both key members returning to Man Or Astro-Man? after 1999, it’s likely that Servotron is no more.  Don’t for one second, though, think that you are safe from the impending revolution of robots.  By the time you read this, it may already be too late!  They’re already here, and you’re next!!

Watch: Servotron – “People Mover” from No Room For Humans (1996)

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~ by E. on June 30, 2010.

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