The thrilling debut album from this intense New York City trio makes their city feel alive once again
London WC1 ULU
How can you stage a revolution when the Comintern is overwhelmed with lust?
On the sticky menu printed inside Ian Svenonius' head, there are just the three options: scrambled, fried and fertilised. "I wanna put my egg in your pan," he squeals, as frantic front-row hands grab at his sabre-sharp trousers. "Everybody's got a seed, everybody's got an egg - let's get together, make an omelette." Hey, baby, welcome to The Revolution.
It's a kinetic blur of hair and hipbones, it wears a uniform of precision-cut terrorist black, and OK, it's seen Carry On Up The Kremlin one too many times. It's the Make Up, ladies and gentlemen, the Make Up, and there's never been a better time to join up to their crypto-Marxist paranoid rock'n'roll sex gang groove thing. Oh yeah, it's gonna be a Long March. Gonna take you all through the night. Mmm-hmmm.
Sorry, but that's how it goes. Ten minutes in the company of this ridiculous, ravishing band and normal linguistic services are suspended, your thought processes are running on like a Russian athlete and you've sold your soul to the cause forever. In a climate where the average idea of a 'good live band' is something like a 'good church fete', this is a blessing of the most secular kind.
As the band (bassist Michelle Mae with her ironed hair and iron stare, guitarist James Canty all angles and planes...) unbuckle the groove of the opening 'Save Yourself', Svenonius pounces onstage, rams the microphone wholly in his mouth, and starts his gyrating. You'd put him in a cage to dance if, like, it didn't objectify him, man. And if you thought mere metal could hold him.
For there's no doubt about the imperatives being encouraged here, even without the airless garagey exhortations of 'C'mon, Let's Spawn' and 'Call Me Mommy'. How can you stage a revolution when the Comintern is overwhelmed with lust? Well, actually the fascination with procreation that drives this band makes perfect sense - it's all about new life, new potential.
Whether locked in a psychic sweat lodge with the claustrophobic anguish of 'The Bells', upsetting the set squares with the experimental geometry of 'I Am Pentagon', or making a ten-minute jam through 'Hey Joe' seem like the best idea in the world, whatever the Make Up preach, they're practising it perfectly. The seed has been sown. All hail the immaculate concept.
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