Sometime in the not-too-distant future, robots will rise up and enslave the human race for the years of forced labor they endured by the hand of mankind. Once our new robotic overlords have cemented their power, music will sound eerily similar to that of Ms. John Soda’s. To be clear, this isn’t meant as an insult. If anything, there’s something strangely impressive about a band managing to create performance art without displaying even an ounce of human emotion.
Another clarification: The last point only applies if the artist(s) in question went into the recording process with such an intention firmly in place. There’s nothing remarkable about simply being devoid of personality. So, in short, Ms. John Soda = good. Magnet? Not so much.
Consisting of former Couch vocalist Stefanie Bohm and the Notwist’s Micha Archer, this German outfit puts a slightly darker, more industrial spin on the kind of sparse glitchy electro rock that’s been tagged with the unfortunate title of lap pop. Let’s call it Postal Kraut. Unlike its contemporaries, though, Ms. John Soda doesn’t dabble in heart-on-sleeve sentimentality. Backed by Archer’s stark soundtrack, Bohm remains as cool as the proverbial cucumber; her pretty-yet-monotone voice never betraying her stoic front.
When matters of the heart are tackled, Bohm doesn’t give an inch. On “Sometimes Stop, Sometimes Go,” she recounts a page from her own romantic playbook matter-of-factly with surgical precision. Even with the music momentarily betraying her and swelling with sentimentality, Bohm doesn’t let a hint of emotion creep into her delivery. Instead, as with the rest of Notes and the Like, we’re greeted with a world-weary indifference that’s strangely beautiful.
Morr Music Web site