Things Are Getting Sinister and Sinisterer
Thursday, December 4, 2008
This side project by Justin Moyer, a veteran of such Washington, D.C., art-punk groups as El Guapo and Antelope, is lo-fi in its execution but sophisticated in its sassy conception. On this second album (which is being released on vinyl LP and as an MP3 download), Moyer takes electroclash in new directions, molding assaultive dance music and remedial hip-hop into a wildly creative personal-political treatise.
The celebrities for whom Moyer often names his songs sometimes have little to do with their content. For instance, “Anthony Perkins” isn’t really about the actor; it’s a stream-of-consciousness screed about AIDS drugs and the meaningless of acronyms in the news. But on the nasty, organ-led “Rob Lowe,” Moyer sings, “Whatever happened to the Brat Pack?,” musing on the sexual proclivities of his subject.
The album’s highlights are the aggressive art-punk “March of the Penguins” and the trippy funk breakdowns of “Bambi/George W. Bush.”
“Mary-Kate Olsen” slaps at the listener like “Hollaback Girl” as interpreted by Soft Cell. Canned beats and a rubbery bass line usher in the opening track, “Sissy Spacek,” followed by the lyric, “And that pig’s blood came down in a red flood.” Now, that’s an image burned into the psyches of most pop-culture junkies. Justin Moyer explores how such unconscious connections link us