Let's get the obvious out of the way: You can't beat the experience of seeing No-Fi Soul Rebellion perform live. Mark Heimer thrives off-stage and in the crowd, belting out lines and sweating in your face while backed by pre-recorded pop-errific tracks embedded in a hollowed-out guitar held by his wife and back-up singer, Andrea Heimer. It's wild.
That said, Oh Please Please Please, more than any other No-Fi album, doesn't need the live theatrics; it's deliciously addictive on its own. "But We Always Set Up on the Floor" is a clap-happy nod to the band's live MO. "Brother Lupine" showcases vocal tuning at its best without delving too much into Cher-like robotics. The spooky synth and blunt dance beats make it perhaps the only song since "Thriller" that encourages the idea of a choreographed line dance in a graveyard.
Heimer has a way with lyrics—never too heavy-handed or obvious, but not pretentious either. His Prince-inspired dance pop balances nicely with his edgy scoldings about things like trash-talking, conformity and intolerance. Heimer has an almost positive rap way about him. But when he belts out straightforward lines like, 'I'm a sucker for a better life," his sincerity never eclipses his badass style.
No-Fi Soul Rebellion plays the Palace Friday, Oct. 2, at 9 PM with Boy Eats Drum Machine and Bacon & Egg. $5.