They are indie rock mixed with electronica by way of genius or garage, depending on who you ask. Generally they have moments of brilliance but wildly scattered output; their issue has been consistency.
When I started listening to this album, I found their sound to be smoothed out in a great way -- they definitely have gone next level. "Control the Radical," "Cubis (I Love You)," "Sense Not Sense," and "Retail of the Details" immediately stood out. Every song was excellent -- I almost thought this was a singles collection (ha ha). So I went to allmusic.com and looked it up.
Turns out... this album is a singles collection.
So here is the story behind this album:
After releasing three full length albums from 1996-2002, bis was recording their fourth album... and broke up, shelving the album. Then the trio re-formed and added two members, renaming themselves "data Panik." (I have to say -- this is a first for me: band breaks up but all personnel are still fully intact!) This formation disbanded after a year an a half. From 2006-2013, the trio did their own projects, before reforming as bis and releasing this compilation, which covers 2004-2006 (i.e., the 4th bis album and all of the data Panik material).
bis - "Cubis (I Love You)"
It's highly infectious, danceable, alt pop. Sure, the second half of the album drags a bit, but the first half is so strong it doesn't matter. Data Panik etcetera is well produced and cohesive, and stands on its own as an excellent album.
CD Placement Rating: Car iPod.