You'll know if you're an Ima Robot fan within seconds after frontman Alex Ebert introduces the band's self-titled debut by saying, "Here's a story for the kids." That's because Ebert sounds exactly like former MTV VJ Jesse Camp channeling Johnny Rotten, a trait that's either annoyingly endearing or simply annoying. If the album started off with "Dirty Life," maybe it'd be a different story. Matching new wave with a sly, funk groove and a chorus solemnly intoning single-word obsessions such as Sex, Passion, Drugs and Fashion gives Ebert something to bounce off of rather than just letting him ricochet aimlessly. When Ebert pimps the album ten tracks in on "Here Come the Bombs," requesting in no uncertain terms that listeners buy the album (though he does say please and promises it'll make traffic bearable), anybody who has stuck around that far is probably already planning to take the plunge. The Ima Robot pedigree can't be faulted -- its ranks include Beck sidemen Joey Waronker on drums and Justin Meldal-Johnson on bass -- but it's when Ebert tones the band down from LOOK AT ME! OVER HERE! I'M SPASTIC! LOOK! OVER HERE! to just spastic that Ima Robot turns into a punk-electropop behemoth worthy of a John Hughes movie, though not quite of Breakfast Club caliber.