Nothing Not New: Scanners

Welcome to the first installment of "Nothing Not New," a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 40-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.

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Album: Submarine
Release date: January 26, 2010
Label: Dim Mak

If you've ever spent more than five minutes in the lobby of a hip, boutique hotel in cities like Scottsdale or Santa Monica, you've undoubtedly heard music like that being created by the British band Scanners: not unpleasant, safely edgy, and barely noticeable.

The second record by the female-fronted Scanners is easy to listen to but instantly forgettable. It's sort of darkly poppy (think Siouxsie and the Banshees' more polished output) with dramatic lyrics like "I'll take you to my grave" and "Every generation must kill themselves in their own way." Singer Sarah Daly's voice recalls a less-powerful Aimee Mann of Til Tuesday. The band's biggest strength is its use of multilayered backing vocals to create rhythmic musical lines that normally would be carried out by bass or piano.

Déja Vú: The aforementioned Siouxsie and the Banshees
I'd rather just listen to: LA's Midnight Movies 
Rotation: Given this is the first installment of "Nothing Not New," rotation will be heavy . . . I've got nothing else to listen to. Down the road, when my iTune shuffles onto a Scanners song, it's not as though I'll instantly hit skip. Like I said, it's good background music. 
Best track: The Blondie-esque "We Never Close Our Eyes" 
Grade: B-

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