Gossip About Guys
5 Track, EP (2007, Mistletone)
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Zoolander perfection. The debut EP by Melbourne’s Actor/Model takes the vainglorious vacuity of a catwalker and fuses it with future-tense Krautrocking intensity. Opening cut ‘My Agent Says’ is a throwback to the knob-twiddling heyday of Mister Quincy Jones: the moment Karen Anson depresses the keys on her splendid synth, your eardrums light up like the footpath in the ‘Billie Jean’ film clip. The songs here have a never-ending rush; guitarist Ricky French has never met a slashing riff he didn’t want to sustain for an eternity. The way the keyboards and guitar interlock is almost like watching two stars collide, or at least J Mascis finessing his guitar around Duran Duran’s new wave nonsense.
Behind them drummer Philip Smiley is like an automaton on the autobahn, driving the pulsebeat and converting songs like ‘Chicken Salt Coast’ into exactly that – a highway blazing with unlimited speed. Art rock ballad ‘I Dot Heart’ laments the life of the demimonde: “This airbrush can’t conceal a frown,” sings French, in total Hush, Hush, Sweet Thurston mode, while ‘Laptop Dancing’ reinvents new wave in a way that will cause a whole heap of haircut bands to spontaneously combust. Let’s hope they tune in.
by Shane Moritz