LOUSY RO­BOT Hail the Con­quer­ing Fool (Hit

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Records In­ter­na­tional) “I’m sick of the pea­cocks,” be­gins the open­ing track of the lat­est re­lease by Albuquerque post-punk out­fit Lousy Ro­bot. “ All they’ve got is the big talk, and they all sound the same.” Lead vo­cal­ist Jim Phillips might be com­plain­ing about to­day’s i ncreas­ingly cookie-cut­ter in­die-rock tal­ent pool, or he could be ex­press­ing his fears about be­com­ing a vic­tim of its creep­ing same­ness. Ei­ther way,

Hail the Con­quer­ing Fool proves that he and his band mates have what it takes to avoid as­so­ci­a­tion with the in­die blah-blah-blahs. Co-pro­duced by John Du­filho (Ap­ples in Stereo, Deathray Davies) and Lousy Ro­bot bassist Dandee Flem­ing, this re­lease at first threat­ens to be a rel­a­tively brood­ing, down­tempo af­fair (com­pared to pre­vi­ous full-length out­ings by the band), but the cre­ative in­te­gra­tion of Jack Mof­fitt’s synths and piano, a hefty amount of fuzzed-out vo­cals and bass, and clever melodies pok­ing out from the most un­likely of places keep this au­ral jour­ney lively in an in­stru­men­tal sense, if a bit dark, lyri­cally speak­ing (“Cross My Heart and Hope You Die” more than hints at this). A com­bi­na­tion of top-tier pro­duc­tion blended with Phillips’ near-mono­tone vo­cal style — es­pe­cially on “Andy Warhol Is Gone” — re­calls the catchy 1985 Shriek­back tune “Neme­sis,” but Lousy Ro­bot puts its songs through a psychedelic spin cy­cle that also in­cludes early New Wave and ’60s-era garage rock. These blokes are birds of a dif­fer­ent in­die-rock feather, and with Hail the Con­quer­ing Fool, they’ve fi­nally taken full and fan­ci­ful flight. — Rob DeWalt

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