Psychodots (Strugglebaby Records)

By Leonard January

The psychodots are doing just fine without Adrian Belew. With their new release, self-titled psychodots, bassist Bob Nyswonger, guitarist and main writer Rob Fetters and drummer Chris Arduser, offer fourteen pop-oriented tunes designed to make you think as well as dance. It's no surprise. When they performed with Adrian Belew as the Bears they were able to release two albums on IRS Records of which both albums reached the top of the alternative music charts and gained them MTV exposure with the video of "Aches and Pains."

In 1989, Belew took a hiatus from the band to support his own solo career and so the three little bears began to perform without him as the Raisins. The group was so well received that they chose to pursue this direction on a permanent basis with psychodots as the new band name.

It's a very English-sounding album with numerous references musically to early Elvis Costello and early Beatles. There isn't a bad or boring cut on either side. One of my favorite cuts, "Livin' In a Lincoln," combines some fantastic psychedelic guitar playing, which helps define this group's nearly original sound. It's an album that makes you wanna dance and sing and then say to yourself, "I can't believe these guys are from Cincinnati."