Superhumanoids have been booting-up in Los Angeles for the past half-decade, gradually earning a vocal, devoted fan base through gigs at the usual Silver Lake and Echo Park indie hangouts and prepping "Exhibitionists," its debut album.
A warm album that draws heavily from the 1980s tones of Human League, the modern-day future disco of the "Drive" soundtrack and synthetic R&B, "Exhibitionists" at its best delivers memorable, singalong dance-pop that feels one placement in "Girls," "True Blood" or an Apple ad away from a breakout. The anthemic "Geri" is lyrically bitter and instantly memorable, and the echoed soft-rock ballad "Bad Weather" is a wonderfully strange R&B diversion.
However well-crafted and hummable it is, "Exhibitionists" is hardly groundbreaking. Each song feels borrowed rather than handmade. "See It All" suggests a cover of U2's "With or Without You" as run through a frequency modulator. "Do You Feel That?" rides the classic Krautrock "motorik" rhythm, but doesn't drive it far enough afield to indicate a band too interested in unguided exploration.
Taken individually, Superhumanoids' songs are sticky enough to land in your head for the afternoon, and a few tracks dropped onto a mix tape might advance an argument for the record's success. But as a grand work of musical art, "Exhibitionists" is lacking.
Two stars (out of four)