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Mary Shelley find the asshole within and make him dance

Mary Shelley find the asshole within and make him dance


After checking out their debut single “Bourgeois de Ville,” if forced at gunpoint to guess some of the guiding lights in this young band’s musical firmament, I would propose such “old-skool-new-wave” artists as (shameless name-dropping alert!) Wire, Bauhaus, PiL, the Adolescents, the Police (peep that Synchronicity like cover image) Hüsker Dü, the B-52s, and later, the Pixies and the Breeders--as filtered through a Wall-of-Voodoo-meets-Oingo-Boingo sensibility and don’t forget to add dashes of Jesus and Mary Chain’s noisy fuzzed out bliss or Buzzcocks’ headrush pop-punk hooks. We can only hope that our deceptively clean-cut-looking boys keep raiding their cool uncles’ record collections and spinning gold from the old vinyl (yes we’re being presumptuous, but the “cool uncle” theory is a valid one to explore) and that they keep seeking out the human in the monstrous and the monstrous in the human like they do in this song just like their namesake.

Vacillating between first person and third person, the lyrics confront Frankenstein and his monster at once (and as one) coming up with such bon mots as “shut the fuck up you’re a Pisces / probably talking feels over ICEEs” and somewhere Kurt Cobain doth shed a tear. And before long the narrator is proudly reeling off examples of his own pretentious mendacity and overall asshole-acity before suddenly losing his cool and blurting out the unstated desperate subtext (“je suis intéressant!” which means “I am interesting” for all you non-Francophones) over and over again to a growing chorus of babbling voices in his head (that we can also hear) and you just know none of this can be a good sign. But it is a good cautionary tale that points the finger inward too because as frontman Jackson Dockery puts it “sometimes you’re the pretentious asshole” or in other words, doctor, heal thyself, like the crocheted pillow says.

These shifting psychological states are reflected in the music which opens on a tense anticipatory buildup like a slowed down, blunted out version of the intro of the Dead Boys’ "Sonic Reducer" before cutting off at the climactic moment and transforming into a crisp, tense post-punk-disco-beat-bass-groove with occasional guitar outbursts and soccer terrace-style vocal chanting of the title phrase which sounds like the name of a new club in the Meatpacking District. But then the song takes another turn and eventually builds up to a rush of crunching guitars and increasingly Tourette’s-like traded vocal (sometimes in Spanish) and continues apace with ebbs and flows like the tide coming in and out which is all rather fitting since there’s a strong surf-punk vibe at times too like in the breakdown section especially with the “Wipeout” drum rolls and swarming echoey guitar all building to a climactic finale of frantic Johnny Rotten style jabbering and I won’t spoil any more of it, you can just listen yourself.

Anyway it’ll probably make you wanna dance the pogo or smash things, or maybe just topple over a vase due to your spasmodic dancing, because this song doesn’t skimp on the jumpy restlessness or nervous-whisper-to-a-scream vocal acrobatics with Dockery coming across at times like Stan Ridgeway and Fred Schneider’s love child backed up by a band that echoes his manic mood swings to a tee. And by the end you’ll wanna punch your first repeatedly in the air while surfing in a moshpit in righteous fury against mindless Mobius strip banter at Bushwick rooftop parties that threatens to turn you into just another pretentious asshole, but one who likes to dance and to rant entertainingly at least--which I hope the band plan to do themselves at their upcoming gigs on 9/10 (gold sounds), 9/18 (Berlin) and 10/5 (bar freda). (Jason Lee)

Published: September 01, 2021 |

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