Spotlight \

Professor Murder

Who? Their stellar post-punk, dub-rock debut hasn’t even dropped yet and this NYC-based quartet — Jesse Cohen (keyboards, samples, fake drums), Andy Craven (drums), Michael Bell-Smith (vocals, percussion, bass, keys), and Tony Plunkett (bass/melodica) — have already shared dance-rock bills with !!! and Radio 4.

What’s the Deal? Out Hud once told whiney indie kids that NYC’s L-train is a swell train, and this quartet may have that same crowd dancing all along New York City’s public transportation lines with Professor Murder Rides the Subway. On it, the band trade instruments like they’re Pogs, but nothing’s grade-school about their first outing. P-Murder bang out five cohesive, crisp, ass-shaking songs that have enough dance-dub fuel to keep the party going well after hours. Of particular interest: the outer-worldly laser spiels of “Champion” and “Free Stress Test,” one of this summer’s most infectiously rolling electro-rock anthems.

Fun Fact: “We sometimes play shows under the name King Oppression,” Plunkett told SPIN.com. “During those shows, we sing our lyrics over rap songs like Outkast’s ‘Bombs Over Baghdad’ or to dancehall rhythms from Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley. It’s like a live remix.” Speaking of remixes, Cohen and Bell-Smith once made a mash-up mixtape using the bangin’ beats of ringtones. JULIA SIMON

Now Hear This: Professor Murder – “Champion” (Download MP3)

Talk: Would you ride the subway with Professor Murder boomin’ on your iPod? COMMENT

On the Web: burncopy.com/pmurder

Tags: Spotlight