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Monday, September 22, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 39.0° F  Fair
Music
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Shiny Toy Guns: Girls Le Disko
(Ultra)
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There's no good reason a band should release an album in December. The best-of-the-year lists have already been written. Taste-making college students are too busy taking finals to listen to new music. Touring bands go home for the holidays.

So it's no surprise that new releases are slim this month. Girls Le Disko suggests that December discs are even leaner in substance than volume.

 It's a Shiny Toy Guns remix album, which is really not a new Shiny Toy Guns release at all. Girls Le Disko is a set of electronic mutations of Shiny Toy Gun songs by artists that include Boyz Noise, Classixx, Hi-Deaf, BT, Ferry Corsten and the Teenagers.

The redundancy doesn't end there. The album offers multiple versions of the few pop hits L.A.'s Shiny Toy Guns have enjoyed. There are three versions of "Ricochet!," two of "Ghost Town" and two of "Rainy Monday."

How do different versions of the same song compare? The Herve Remix of "Rainy Monday" radically dissects the track, frequently freeing itself of the core song structure to meander through a visceral electronic jam. The Bimbo Jones Radio Edit, by contrast, is more traditional. It largely keeps "Rainy Monday" intact but sets it to a club beat.

Maybe these are worthwhile distinctions experienced live on a dance floor. On an album, the dense ornamentation feels extraneous to the essential melody that made "Rainy Monday" good in the first place. The special effects are intrusive and overly dramatic. They get in the way of a worthy original.

Remixes are a pop-music rage right now. Indie rock songs are being electronically transformed almost upon release.

As easy-made product, remixes fill the voracious appetite of the infinite-channel digital age, but like Girls Le Disko, they don't do much else.

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