Also announced: a bizarre marketing initiative that promised to get fans in on the process.
Specifically, it's Devo's professed mission to "appeal to everybody" that's found Mark Mothersbaugh and co. focus-grouping album titles at press conferences (at SXSW) and trying out new colors for their iconic energy dome headgear (at the Winter Olympics).
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And now, finally, it's everybody's turn to get in on the fun.
Devo have launched Song Study, an interactive website designed to allow fans (or non-fans looking to throw the data) to choose from 16 song snippets, the 12 tracks they'd most like to hear on the band's pending new album.
A strange, skinny Swede plays the affable host, and you can watch him drink milk, take phone calls and waggle his head to the beat as you peruse the 30 to 40-second clips. West Coast Sound has already weighed in, and gathered a few thoughts for those considering it:
- The majority of these new songs are hugely upbeat, high-energy takes on New Wave's inherent urgency and angularity -- tightly wound, careening tracks where guitar notes bounce left and right willy-nilly.
- There seems to be AutoTune on the kinda Western-tinged "Human Rocket." We did not vote for this one.
- Oddly, many of the songs -- "Human Rocket" chief among them -- seem titled in the vein of an Eagles of Death Metal record. To wit: "Knock Boots," "Let's Get To It," "Watch Us Do It," and "Please Baby Please."
- There are -- gasp! -- some politics involved. If you're gun-, money- or power- shy, skip "March On" -- which is kinda corny anyway -- and "Sumthin."
- The jagged rocker and Dell commercial staple "Watch Us Work It" makes a triumphant return.
- "If you think black is black and white is white / Open up your eyes and get it right / Love is mind games."
- Expect plenty of modified robot vocals, lots of Fischerspooner electro, and at least one insance of some maximal Justice-like pulsation.
- No sign of Snoop Dogg.