On the radar: Dead Boy Robotics

Share this article

Today's rock stars take themselves way too seriously.

Play: We Drown Ourselves (Cartographer Exhales) >>>

There's nothing ostensibly wrong with po-faced tune-smugglers turning pious philanthropists, it's just that some folk should really stick to what they do best - isn't that right Messers Yorke and Hewson?

Thankfully, Edinburgh's Dead Boy Robotics (DBR] have no desire to save the world. In fact, it's quite the opposite: "We're cyborgs sent from the future to terminate Sarah Connor," jests non-android frontman Gregor McMillan. "We got a bit sidetracked by music though. We'll have a cameo in Terminator 5."

Despite this screwball front, a steely determination has underlined DBR's progress since McMillan and comrade-in-tune Mike Bryant first converged in 2007. Bound by the idea of making guitars squeal like Gameboys, the duo have rapidly escalated from late night drone to melody laced avant-gardism and cemented themselves as one of the capital's most alluring live spectacles.

"I guess it's the need to always be doing something creative," says McMillan , musing over DBR's raison d'tre. We've both been involved in art or music some way or another since high school. I don't think that need will ever go away. Making music together is just one of the ways we fill that need."

But it's not just music they create; it's wonky sonic sears that hit home with bullwhip precision. A cross-sworded cluster of palpitating electronica and dissipating pummel, DBR tip their hats to the likes of Animal Collective and, fellow decibel-hunters, HEALTH while retaining their own inimitable persona.

Not that McMillan considers DBR to be a unique proposition: "I see similarities in our music with lots of bands we listen to so I couldn't confidently say we were different from anything else out there," he states modestly. "Although it may not be obvious we've a very experimental band, always playing with sounds and texture... Our next song might be a Casio-rap song or a screamy-folk ditty, although thinking about it, they both sound terrible. I guess that makes us different."

As an essential cog in Edinburgh's much touted Bear Scotland, DBR are vehement flag bearers for the local scene: "It's a very exciting time for Scottish music," enthuses McMillan. "There's so many wonderful people and creative minds making music out there. All the Bear Scotland bands (Meursault, Withered Hand, Foundling Wheel & Enfant Bastard] are doing something important right now and are magical live."

With DBR's own aural magic set to sprinkle over this year's T in the Park, McMillan's hoping the Balado jamboree will bring with it a little consistency: "We can be really shambolic one gig and note perfect the next but always entertaining - we hope," he explains. "If something goes wrong we'll just make a joke of it and keep going. The majority of our set will be new songs so it will be great to play them over a huge PA. We're there to have fun and that's the main thing."

Like what you hear? Catch Dead Boy Robotics at the following shows:

25 Jun @ 13th Note, Glasgow

10 Jul @ T in the Park, Balado

24 Jul @ Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh

Under the Radar: showcasing the best new music in Scotland