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The Robot Ate Me: On Vacation

Crispy Christian Tea, Anyone?

With song titles like "Crispy Christian Tea Time", "The Genocide Ball", and "Jesus and Hitler", On Vacation is the kind of album that will likely polarize potential listeners before they have even heard a single track. That being said, there is little of On Vacation that can truly be considered offensive. Ultimately, On Vacation is a bizarre mťlange of a concept album that fails to consistently deliver.

What On Vacation unfortunately delivers too consistently of is the unpleasant and dissonant voice of The Robot Ate Me's frontman Ryland Bouchard. Sounding vaguely like a strangled Wayne Coyne (of The Flaming Lips), Bouchard's rusty Quaalude-infused voice exacerbates any attempts to decipher the lyrical absurdity of On Vacation.

Bouchard's lyrics are reminiscent of painful poetry assembled forcibly by a second grader. "If you don't like my games, you should definitely run away because otherwise you'll burn in flames. It's my world even if I'm insane" is but one example of the kind of lyrical gems you'll find in On Vacation.

What Bouchard and his colleagues do excel at is mixing disturbing lyrics with eerily, surreal upbeat melodies that are disconcerting given the subject matter. "The Genocide Ball" is infused with a frighteningly upbeat 50's infused melody as Bouchard tells listeners , "We've got ringside seats to watch from. I'll bet on Jordan. You've got South Africa. You'll never know who we'll win next."

On Vacation attempts something unique in marrying upbeat melodies with somber and absurd lyrics, but unfortunately the album fails to gel into anything truly entertaining, or comprehensible. Mercifully, this 2-disc album is a mere 41-minutes in length.

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars