Roll Over Beethoven
A new CD from Stereo Total is always cause for celebration.
The hyper-sensitive and humorless need not apply, but all oth-
ers are welcome. "Ladies Toilet," for instance, offers a bathroom
that speaks to its patrons, but it isn't gross, just funny. The la-
bel describes their lyrics as "anarchistic, lewd, poetic in an over-
wrought way, sometimes very sad and sometimes very silly."
Later, they wonder what John Waters' favorite actor-actress
might have toted about in "Divine's Handbag" (perhaps "an old
sandwich from a dirty kitchen sink"). Since they sing in English,
French, German, Japanese, and Italian, I can't always tell what
they're saying, though the titles give some indication, like "An-
dy Warhol" (not the Bowie number), and their Franco-Teu-
tonic take on electro-pop is in universally-understood effect.
If Françoise Cactus handles most of the vocals, someone else,
possibly partner Brezel Göring, steps up to the mic for "I Wan-
na Be a Mama" ("I will teach him how to kill, oh yeah, I wanna be
a mama!"), but only Cactus could do justice to the closing tracks,
the playful "Violent Love," which evokes the New York Dolls, and
"Baby Ouh," the duo's take on Serge Gainsbourg-style chanson.
I also like the theremin that decorates "Du Bist Gut Zu Vögeln"
and the chorus of whistling that permeates "Tour de France."
All told, they've issued another winner: fun, but not insub-
stantial; smart, but not pretentious. Let the party begin!
Click here for my review of Paris <-> Berlin.
Endnote: Stereo Total play Chop Su-
ey on 8/31. Image from Kill Rock Stars.