Polysics – “We Ate the Machine”
(MySpace Records/Interscope Records) ***
Polysics crash-land at Tremont Music Hall at 7 p.m. Oct. 29. $12-$15. 704-343-9494.
Japan's Polysics make ADD rock that sounds ready-made for fast-paced Japanese children's cartoons, by marrying synthesized dance-rock and hiccupping vocals with all sorts of random influences.
“Pretty Good” uses banging Jerry Lee Lewis-style keys, soaring guitar and robot vocals. The title track forges ahead at death-metal speed without succumbing to less-accessible Japanese noise rock. “Rocket” could have been pulled straight from the “Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi” animated TV series.
But Polysics isn't just for kids. Fans of Devo, Japanese groups like Pizzicato Five and Cibo Matto, and underground acts like Man or Astroman and the Causey Way, should finds its speed-in-space cuteness endearing.
As thrown together and spastic as its Gameboy rock comes across, few of the discs' tracks sound alike. Try your best to keep up.
Darrell Scott – “Modern Hymns”
(Appleseed/Full Light Recordings) ***
Scott plays Neighborhood Theatre at 7 p.m. Nov. 20. $15. 704-358-9298.
Singer-songwriter Darrell Scott has written hits for country chart-toppers like Sara Evans (“Born to Fly”), Travis Tritt (“It's a Great Day to Be Alive”) and the Dixie Chicks (“Heartbreak Town”). For his latest album, he pays tribute to his influences: Paul Simon, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and John Hartford.
Scott smartly doesn't choose the usual suspects in song. For instance, he turns Joni Mitchell's “Urge for Going” into a blustery bluegrass romp. He takes the relaxed jazz of Pat Metheny's mostly instrumental “James” and gives it the acoustic Americana treatment.
Elsewhere, his renditions are truer to the originals. With “The Devil,” Scott reminds listeners what a great songwriter actor Hoyt Axton was before he played the hero's dad in 1984's “Gremlins.”