Because The Division of Laura Lee hailed from the same Swedish stomping grounds as The Hives, and shared a similar garage-rock sound on its 2002 Black City (Epitaph), just about everyone mentioned DOLL in the same breath as The Hives, if they mentioned DOLL at all.
Maybe a couple years of obvious comparisons chafed the band enough to inspire a heck of a lot of change in its songwriting process or maybe the band just bloomed of its own accord. Either way, Das Not Compute shoots the Swedes out of the garage and into areas -- mostly weird leg-wrestling matches between psychedelic jam outs and rock'n'roll flare-ups -- at which its predecessor never hinted.
In a garage-band world where the Stripes' addition of a bass to its sound got chat rooms buzzing, Das Not Compute strikes like a hydrogen bomb. Although the band hasn't kissed its noisy garage roots goodbye, it buries them so deeply under a mass of weird sounds, slower tempos and charming burst of psychedelia that they're the least important part of this album's sonic formula. While it'd be easy to assume the band jumps from one revivalist movement to the next, picking up the dated '60s psychedelic pop sound of Rainbow Quartz Records' preservationist masters, that'd be thoroughly misleading. Although the Division dabbles in the acid of the '60s, Das Not Compute is a long, strange trip through modernized freak-outs.
If nothing else, Division of Laura Lee sure lets some top-shelf influences bleed through on this album. "Breathe Breathe" mingles the murk of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club/Jesus and Mary Chain spectrum with the nebulous, droning psychedelics of Spaceman 3 and Spiritualized. A randy, distorted guitar kicks out the jams in "Sneaking Up on Mr. Prez," and proves the band hasn't lost its garage-rock edge, though its slower tempos helps keep the revivalist aspect at arm's length, and "Dirty Love" is the smarmy rock'n'roll tune that everyone from Jet to The Hives themselves wishes they had in them. Just when the band seems to be rocking out, however, it brings things back down again, with the slow-burning "There's a Last Time for Everything" echoes everything from Love and Rockets' late-'80s glory days with an atmospheric number that doesn't let somber sobriety weaken its powerful, resonating vibe.
This isn't the DOLL we thought we knew. It's been bombarded by gamma radiation, exposed to an alien virus or bitten by a radioactive critter or another, changing it, making it something much more than Black City ever had in it.