Street Sounds: Duo moves on from iPod ad

Review of British duo The Ting Tings new album, Sounds from Nowheresville

Trendy electro-pop duo The Ting Tings straddle a loud line between luscious ear candy and cheap tinny sounds.

The Salford, England twosome can wallow in the shallow end of the stream, but they don’t come across as gutless, just intent on fleeting moments of flash (Hit Me Down Sonny). It’s kind of a head-for-the-disco club music superficiality without the deadening ear fatigue that plagues much American dance music.

The noisy duo (Katie White; vocals, guitar, and Jules de Martino; drums, bass, keys, background vocals) are clever at layering melodic effects and trashy tones over basic riff tracks. Hang It Up and Give It Back are cheap thrills that don’t linger on, but they don’t aspire to anything more than spectacle-driven distraction.

White’s vocals have a pissed off punk mannequin attack, which suits the reggae-lite electro aesthetic to a happy end. She rides over the kitschy beats and left field hooks like a warm android, milking the words for maximum bite.

Consequently, the group’s futuristic videos with their eccentric ambiance seem to be filtering over into the recordings.

White gets her kicks in on Soul Killing, a ska stomp that recalls 10CC’s Dreadlock Holiday in the chorus.

De Martino and White space out luxuriantly over a hypnotic pulse in One By One that recalls mid-90’s Manchester trip rock.

The Ting Tings keep it brief and beaty, and hipster-unfriendly. Smart move.

–– Dean Gordon-Smith is the guitarist for Vernon band Redfish who writes music reviews for The Morning Star.