When you think about, there is as much musical variety within the rock genre as there is outside it. Certainly, “Japanese Robot Invasion” by Belgium’s Lovelorn Dolls is considerably less muscular than most but benefits from referencing the more conceptual albums of the seventies but delivering their own message with all the looped precision of eighties electro rock.
Whilst there are still enough riffs in there to keep you and your air guitar – or, these days, your games console – busy, it is the song writing that impresses the most with a clear effort to tell a story that unfolds across the course of the album. There is no shortage of gloom laden atmosphere either and that serves to reinforce the sense of alienation and cultural disconnection that permeate the lyrics.
“Miss Friday Night” is the song that best represents their artistic approach with the bombastic intro falling back to a looped to the point of being dance floor friendly beat as the lonesome voice of Ladyhell reflects on the kind of time honoured Friday night problems that any girl might face. And that is the story that Lovelorn Dolls tell as this isn’t an album about the undead or about the night people and their nightlife or, indeed, about robots. “Japanese Robot Invasion” is an album full of songs about people lost in our supposedly inclusive world and, if you took away the dramatic presentation, it could then even be classed as sensitive. Now that is interesting.