Das Not Compute, Division of Laura Lee's follow-up to 2002's Dark City, is an interesting little foray into post-punk accomplished by appropriating the techniques of their punk forefathers and continuing with the trend of dirty garage rock. The title track starts with a simple drum beat and escalates with rapid fire guitar, fairly heavily distorted and reminiscent of The Stooges. "We Are Numbers" is a bit more melodic, full of echoey vocals, which add a lot of atmosphere and almost make up for the nonsensical lyrics: "I submit to live a life where I have nothing. Let's blame the mailman. We are numbers on your frame, the voices in the other end." "Endless Factories" partially redeems "We Are Numbers," with its lost-in-the-metaphorical-industrial-wasteland lyrics, upbeat rhythm, and acid-tinged vocals.
"Breathe, Breathe" contains, no lie, a sample of the Halloween theme. This made the song a little inaccessible, seeing as how images of a Michel Myers bloody rampage are pretty overwhelming. However, the eerie associations of the sample add another level to the haunting declaration of redemptive love. Singer Per Stalberg croons "You can trust in me. Put your trust in me. I said breathe, breathe, breathe. I'll help you through." "Q2," like most of the album, again invokes the Stooges' distorted, staticy style, but seems forced, not genuine. The final track, "There's A Last Time For Everything," stands out from the rest of Das Not Compute as a gentle but caustic anti-love sung with a slow drawl and hints of jazz-inspired piano.
Das Not Compute is an acceptable offering from Division of Laura Lee in the vein of the Hives, the Vines, and the Strokes. The Swedish quartet specializes in gritty guitar and drawn-out, emotive vocals, in the tradition of the MC5 and the Stooges.
Adrienne Adelsberger is a Contributing Writer.