Go Ghetto Tiger (Independent)
No doubt to the horror of Axl Rose, the '80s are today remembered as a time when synth pop ruled the world–or at least the movies of John Hughes. Displaying a slavish devotion to that now-fabled period, Go Ghetto Tiger gets top marks for authenticity on this eponymous outing. Featuring devastatingly gloomy synth riffs and irresistibly danceable drum-machine beats, "is this disco" sounds like the Luv-A-Fair circa 1982. Throw it on between Blancmange and New Order at Salon des Bourgeoisie, and watch the dance floor detonate. What keeps Go Ghetto Tiger from being more fun than Chromeo is that it tends to take its '80s obsession too seriously.
The early Edge–indebted guitar work and blue-Monday vocals are admirable enough, but tracks like "deluxe deluxe" are more suitable for slinking around in black pointy shoes than celebrating the decade that taste forgot. The greatest offender on that front is arguably "before we're friends", the kind of limp waver that, back in the day, got people beat up for wearing parachute pants and committing mousse abuse. And yes, it was usually an Axl Rose look-alike doing the beating.