X-Ray Vision as a technology is frequently thought of as gadgetry for means of espionage, and going by that definition it’s a surprisingly good fit for this band, blending spy tones with Astro-Man zip-zoop.
Central to this is the keyboards, swapping duty between swirling hammond-esque sounds and more futuristic electronic sounds and a few in-between. Sometimes in a fittingly spy manner, sometimes reminding me of their fellow frenchmen Les Tigres du Futur with a spastic approach.
It often does seem like they’re switching between styles rather than blending, but it all gels together really well. There are some tracks that do a decent job of straddling both, such as “Le Guignolo”. The spy tracks never feel straight up boring, thanks to some well-employed percussion and some muscle to the guitar.
A lot of these are covers: “A Shot in the Dark”, “Le Clan de Siciliens”, “Hernando’s Hideaway” and “Beat Girl” but the album feels fresh on the merit of the other tracks and these help cement the theme. There’s also a cover of Jerry Cole’s “Border Run” but their take on it to me feels closer to Cole’s own refined version “Power Surf”.
Admittedly I haven’t checked out X-Ray Vision’s previous LP but this feels like a band that really wanted to go the extra mile on their sophomore album. These songs feel refined and most importantly it really comes together as an album. I’m kind of bummed that playing these on my radio show will lose that greater context. Give it a listen on bandcamp or buy the vinyl!