Sunday, December 10, 2006
Sweeping The Nation Albums Of 2006: Number 22
The trouble with Cansei De Ser Sexy is that they often seem to have been made up just for hipster cachet. Sao Paolo, you say? Five-sixths female, and it's the bloke who does most of the work? Named after a supposed Beyonce quote? Electronica over guitars and lyrics about pop culture and antipathy thereof by a befringed, half-Japanese, stagediving singer calling herself Lovefoxxx who used to be in ringtone adverts? Is this the result of some create your own band computer game designed by ILX? In fact it's been reworked from the original by Sub Pop for our delicate northern hemisphere, with the Portuguese language tracks removed, the tracklisting changed and a couple of tracks remixed apparently to make it less electro inclined. So much for straight cultural exchange, especially as the electro-inclined bits are the best they offer.
That CSS exude someone's idea of cool is inevitable. That they do so beyond NME notions now actually is something noteworthy. Lovefoxxx, of course, leaks with the stuff in the South American ice cool Kim Gordon way, but eventually parts of this album will make sitting still a physical impossibility. It regenerates all sorts of previously horrifying notions such as synthpunk and Thomas Dolby patchworks - rather than take on friend Diplo's baile funk, it tries to turn it into 8-bit futuristic retro disco funk, workable electropunk or new wave riffage with odd tips of the hat to the Waitresses and Go-Gos, the latter notably in Meeting Paris Hilton, which may well be an exercise in how many ways the word 'bitch' can be reused but is also their most straightforwardly driving moment complete with noises apparently derived from Hot Butter's Popcorn. This, you feel, is what Peaches would sound like if she did it properly, or what the last couple of years of Le Tigre's attempt to merge pop stylings and leftfield beats should have been aiming at, marrying spiky, partly spiteful commentary to heavy bass, except Kathleen Hanna has the disadvantage in this situation of English as a first language ("am I a horse? Am I a curse?" Who can really say?) And then there's Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above, a repository of catchphrases as verse lines, odd pop shapes, plenty hi-hat, Ze records bass and that bit where it seems to try and turn into Death From Above 1979 themselves. If it sometimes sounds cheaply done, it's more than likely part of the gameplan. CSS exude a singular brashness they call their own, and what the hell they do with it will be fascinating to watch.
LISTEN ON: Alala
WATCH ON: Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above video; a not entirely refined live TV version of Meeting Paris Hilton
READ ON: The Observer picked up on them domestically last August although luckily Malcolm McLaren seemed to forget (not enough chipped Gameboys involved for his liking, see); once hype has kicked in Incendiary magazine discuss their roots and make their rise sound like one big clerical error