"With lyrics like “Am I a Horse/Am I a fire?/Am I a curse?/So hey hey hey do you wanna drink some alcohol?” how could you fail to be charmed?"
CSS – Cansei De Ser Sexy(Sub Pop/Konkurrent)
CSS Suxxx... What an opener, a strident, thrashing, pouting shout-a-thon putting me in mind of Japan's Buffalo Daughter, but much riper, more strident, more sweaty. This is guitar pop for strident teens, no doubt. Patins is a question and answer love quarrel over a couple's possession with a thumping chorus. So far so good, if this is Brazilian guitar pop, then give me more. Alala is very girly with cutey breathy verses about being friends in this harsh modern world over some atonal synthesizer droning. Suddenly there's a nod to Kraftwerk with some techno noodling and the phrase "bet you won't be checking her bits". I could be wrong of course... The first three tracks build up to my favourite on this release, the epically named Lets Make Love and Listen to Death from Above. This song is a weird, sexy cross between The Tom Tom Club's Words and a Goldfrapp refrain. Mad, but beguiling.
After this Art Bitch throws some very girly "ooh get you" word play ("lick lick lick my art-tit / suck suck suck my art-hole", you know, the usual observations...) over a squally guitar palette, in mood it's very similar to The Modern Lover's Pablo Picasso. Fuckoff Is Not the Only Thing You Have to Show starts off like the Human League with its monochromatic synths but soon blossoms into a very strident set of observations about someone else over a weird, child-like set of synth patterns. It's like Junior New Order Time. Meeting Paris Hilton is the LP's weakest track as its blatant stance errs on the side of parody too often. Or maybe, rather like its subject, the song's excessive pouting doesn't really work. Luckily, Off the Hook is up next, which is such a charmer with its deranged, sloppy chorus and growling low-grade guitar runs. Alcohol is another bonkers song which doesn't half remind me of Talking Heads' Don't Worry About The Government, it's so tinny. With lyrics like "Am I a Horse/Am I a fire?/Am I a curse?/So hey hey hey do you wanna drink some alcohol?" how could you fail to be charmed? There's a lovely mouth organ that chugs along low down in the song's mix...
Music is My Hot Hot Sex is a fabulous penultimate track, getting down to the basics in a very endearing. Check these lyrics. "Music is my boyfriend/music is my girlfriend/music is my dead end/music is my hot hot sex" Briliiant. Musically it's a mix of rumbling bass, tinny synths, Brazilian chattering and a shambling, skanky guitar rhythm. I love it. Last up is This Month, Day 10. This takes the Teardrops' Sleeping Gas and segues it with a pre-adolescent B52s cover band (yes, I know that is an extremely clumsy, somewhat elitist way to describe this track but it's the best this confused reviewer can do at present). No matter it's great and puts a smile on your face.
Just over half an hour in length, charming and infuriatingly gauche in equal measure, Cansei De Ser Sexy is a ball, a tonic, a quick snifter. Check it out.
Words: Richard Foster.