Edge

album reviews: Sexual Puns Galore: The Donnas, the Scene Creamers, and Loose Fur

The Donnas
Spend the Night
***
Preps, jocks, dorks and tools watch out, these four princesses of punk have grown up to be powerhouse man-trashing icons. The Donnas, known back in the day as Raggedy Ann, and then as The Electrocutes, have stormed the mainstream scene with their latest album Spend the Night.
Quasi-famous for their constantly dissolving ’80s sound of driving Ramones punk and angsty vocals, The Donnas continue to rampage with their delightfully tacky, straight to the point, sex driven steelo. Spend the Night may not be as no holds barred as their previous albums but it still embodies everything The Donnas are – sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.
Despite their raunchy image, The Donnas are poster idols to prepubescent hardcore wannabes everywhere. They’ve tossed some fabric softener into their style since 2001’s The Donnas Turn 21 , but their Caddies remain parked in the garage. You might describe this transformation to switching from ice cream to non-fat frozen yogurt – it’s not the real thing, but it’s a decent substitution (and trust me, before Spend the Night was released, The Donnas were dieting the non-fat way).
“Sellouts” you might gasp, making it to MTV’s “TRL” with their first video, but hey, at least they are selling out in record numbers at the stores. It may not be their best work, but at least all of their tracks still have that shove it up your arse edge (Editor’s note: OK.).
Put it this way, if The Donnas and Britney were in a mud wrestling match (yes, hot chicks frolicking in goo), my money would be on The Donnas any day (Editor’s note: OK.).
For man-hating women around the world, go put on “I Don’t Care (So There)” and burn your bras to the sounds and anthems of the new misogynistic revolt (Editor’s note: OK.).

– Meghan Duthu

Scene Creamers
I Suck on that Emotion
**1/2

The Scene Creamers is yet another band starring Ian Svenonius of the Make Up (his other project, Weird War, co-stars Neil Michael Hagerty). For those unfamiliar with the Make Up, imagine a ’60s flavored soul dance group with revolutionary leanings, and a singer who talks, moans, pants, and howls more than he actually sings. The Make Up was fond of calling their avant-garde style “Gospel Ya-Ya.” Although this disc doesn’t quite live up to the spirit of Gospel Ya-Ya, there are still a few upbeat tracks that will get your ass shaking. This is one of those discs that you can absolutely judge by its cover, a modified 20 dollar bill with a picture of a lion fighting a wookie (I think).
Many of the tracks drag on for what seems like an eternity, too concerned with flexing psychedelic muscle to value brevity or wit.
Is it worth 12 dollars? Not if you have the Internet. But, if you do, the tracks “Session
Man” and “Here Comes the Judge Pt. II” are worth checking out.

– James Hush

Loose Fur
Loose Fur [EP]
****

If you haven’t listened to Wilco’s 2002 release Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, you aren’t worth writing to. If you have, you were no doubt infatuated with the dense instrumentation conceived by Jim O’Rourke, and the simple, straightforward songwriting of Jeff Tweedy.
After meeting at the 2000 Noise Pop Festival in Chicago, the two began collaborations on YHF, and soon after, along with Wilco’s Glenn Kotche, started writing songs for their new band, Loose Fur. This self-titled EP is already a contender for year-end honors.
The trio draws together elements of ’60s pop, Americana, and acoustic balladry into a stunningly beautiful (and at times stunningly discordant) album. The disc opens with “Laminated Cat,” a song that tells the story of the four seasons, packaged neatly by a chorus that offers “a unified theory of everything.” “Elegant Transaction” is the most nostalgic of the tracks, bringing to mind a simpler time when songwriters like Nick Drake and Tim Buckley were writing folk music that was simply too good for the audiences of their day.
Jim O’Rourke really shines on the third track, “So Long,” which combines seemingly random percussion elements and haphazardly plucked electric guitars over a basic melody played on acoustic guitar. Not to be outdone, Tweedy strikes back on the next track “You Were Wrong,” an introspective ballad that brings to mind his earlier efforts on [Wilco] tracks like “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” and “Ashes of American Flags.”
The CD closes nicely with “Liquidation Totale,” a more upbeat, but still meandering saga that tells a story without the vocals of either O’Rourke or Tweedy. “Chinese Apple” is a song that almost serves as a paraphrase of the record, combining the best elements of all the previous songs into a mix-tape secret weapon. This is definitely a group to keep your eyes on as the year progresses.

– James Hush

January 31, 2003

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