To see Ladytron live is to see a group of people (who wish they weren't) make loud-ass, droning, yet somehow danceable music. Their selling point, I guess, is the fact that they are completely emotionless. Robotic
is the only acceptable adjective I can use to describe them. The two female lead singers -- who are, despite their best efforts, icily smoldering -- intone their lyrics as if they were reading out lines of arcane legal jargon; that is to say, affectless. This effect is magnified by the fact that the band is kitted out in all-black army suits, they all have black hair spiked out in various directions that, on all four members, looks eerily similar. They're androgynous
But oh, how they can rock. I am somewhat averse to synths in my music, but when you've got four going at the same time in a live environment, it's hard to resist. Throw in the fact that they have a live drummer (whereas on their studio stuff there's a drum machine, which is, of course, to be despised, instead) as well as a bassist and you've got a veritable six-piece wall of sound... although you certainly can't glean any excitement yourself from the blank expressions on their faces.
Their best song live is "USA vs White Noise," a track which clocks in at just over two minutes on the studio version of the track (it's off of the Mu-Tron EP). It's basically just a powerful drum beat with heavy synths over it repeated over and over, but when they kick it live, the beat gets progressively faster and faster until it explodes into some formless noise which quiets down... until the drumbeat comes back again to rock the crowd into a frenzy again. The whole affair lasts a glorious six minutes or so, I lost track of time.
If you've ever wanted to see indie rock kids try to get down and dance, there's no better opportunity to watch this curious spectacle than at a Ladytron gig.
Ladytron is starting to blow up, relatively speaking, with the song "Seventeen
." It has been featured lately in a commercial for American Eagle
, and the song has been getting some minor airplay on Live 105
, a definitely major (although not -- perhaps thankfully -- ClearChannel
) San Francisco radio station