Wednesday, January 06, 2010

SPOTLIGHT: Whore's Mascara Tries to Be 'Monogamous'

Over the course of the year and then some existence of Melismatic, I have been contacted by some really promising new artists in search of some promotion. I’ve been supremely lacking in terms of speaking on these talents, due to a variety of reasons, but that is something that will change drastically in 2010. If you are an artist, please feel free to send me an e-mail with your info. However -- full disclosure – I will only give priority to artists I believe in and/or am intrigued by, who I feel deserve a voice in a business where breaking in is downright harrowing. With that said, I hope to continue to feature a new artist (preferably unsigned or very much underground) at least once a month…

I'm kicking this off with a serious punch.
I was contacted back in October by the group that is not exactly for the prudish of heart in the pop realm, called Whore’s Mascara. The name in itself conjured all sorts of intense imagery – but it was supported by the knowledge that this was an electro-clash trio, fusing the grand and campy style of the 80’s club scene (to put it mildly) with today’s embrace of electronic sounds and sex appeal. My interest was peaked from go, and it was definitely worth the trip.

The group is an international affair, with its three members hailing from Britain, Australia and the USA (by way of California). They describe their sound as “if the Pet Shop Boys and Madonna got together and had a drunken, explicit menage-a-trois, Whore's Mascara might sound like their lovechild” (and you thought Britney's "3" was risque...pfffft). Modern electro influences also abound, especially with my personal favorites Dragonette and Little Boots.

The group’s breakthrough single, “Monogamous”, seems to be their most mainstream offering and ups the camp factor up to about eleven, all the while winking to audience, hinting of what's to come. The song itself has a call/response, male/female kind of chorus that slithers with coy sex appeal, stating "I could be monogamous with you...for a day or two/I could be monogamous with you...but can they come, too?" The crunchy intro cues up comparisons to Dragonette’s “Fixin’ To Thrill”, however as the song truly kicks in to gear, it sounds more similar to Human League or Soft Cell. They straddle the line (err…literally) between 80’s camp and 00/10’s kitsch, and the result is ridiculously catchy. The "Liberation Remix" is also quite fab as well. I've been finding myself humming the chorus to myself quite a bit since I first the spun the track, and considering my already cluttered collection of electro-pop, that's quite a feat.

In fact, its the type of song that when you hear it, you feel it might have been a long lost discovery from the 1980's itself, and not a current offering. For fans of the that type of underground club sound, that is a victory in itself. The music video is also an artsy triumph, shot by fashion photog Patrik Andersson. The scenes pile on the sex appeal, while remaining starkly aware of image and ridiculousness, and for whatever reason, recalls my thoughts to Tim Curry and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (a flashback that I continually receive upon perusing their debut album). In fact, the video has been chosen to be featured on both FUSE On Demand (in January) and MTV Logo. The ball seems to truly be rolling for this group, despite the fact that their style is distinctly underground glam, rather than mainstream radio (while Lady Gaga manages to get away with quite a bit in terms of innuendo, this group takes it to a whole new extreme). They are officially on my radar, and I hope you find their quirky, in-your-face, ruckus, coquettish style to your liking as well.

The group calls New York home, and have released their debut album, Like This, But Sexy, to iTunes. The full record does not include "Monogamous" (FYI), and on the whole, the entire record is a bit (read: very much) more sexually-charged and (most definitely) NSFW. It's kind of impossible to articulate the "shock" factor of the full's kind of like if Jeffree Star slept with Soft Cell, and didn't mind telling you about it in graphic detail. (By the time you get just a few songs in to "Second Coming", which basically uses religious themes as sexual innuendo, you start to wonder what lines they won't cross. Honestly, I applaud their chutzpah -- just don't say I didn't warn you. To say it verges on pornographic is an understandment, but it is also very obvious the group doesn't take themselves -- or the subject matter -- too serious. It's dark comedy set to laser synth, and no one does it better than these three.)
Basically, if you think Katy Perry, Britney Spears or Lady Gaga is risque, Whore's Mascara will be much too much for you. With that said, however, it's gleefully enjoyable in that kitchy, type of way...just not for the faint of heart. Overall, the album's lush and ridiculously electro-synth-tastic, it's just the downright explicit lyrics and blatant innuendo that put a bit of a hitch in your step to make you think "Is this for real?", and I'm sure that's exactly what they want it. To be honest, the album is a bit extreme for my personal tastes on the surface, but that's one of the main reasons why I'm so fascinated -- it's a mirror of the 'underground' culture glorified by vintage Manhattan, remixed and spun right 'round for comedic effect. The lyrics themselves may be extreme for your average pop bunny (like me), but the tongue-in-cheek allusions and darkly sarcastic hues just can't be denied. "Monogamous" makes me excited for their future prospects when they compromise just a tad. I'm interested to see how things fare for them when the television coverage starts to roll.

It's not for everyone, for sure, but can be best described as a sonic adventure, no matter your lifestyle or genre preference. My mind kind of explodes at the possibilities of this group's live performances -- the air must be downright electric. If you're looking for something a bit off the beaten path, but still a fun romp for a night out, look no further than Whore's Mascara. They are proof positive that electro doesn't have to be so damn high-brow and high falootin' all the time.

Take a look at the music video for "Monogamous" below. You can purchase Like This, But Sexy on iTunes here.


Myfizzypop said...

whore's mascara? I love that name and ergo just for the sheer genius of it all I will now love them even before I listen to their music. I will try and use the band name in a sentence at work today e.g. "oh my god, have you seen Julie? She's got the whore's mascara on again" yes, i'm quite pleased with taht!

Patrick said...

Honey - you're giving this dreck a lot more credit, attention and space than a good writer like yourself should.

Your writing's good, though.

JoJo said...

I loooove Whore's Mascara! They deserve all this credit and more! Nice post.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my English is not very good, I love "monogamous" You could transcribe the lyrics of this song? Please

Anonymous said...

I'm the anonymous above, please answer Mel that I want to sing the song!

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