Listen Up: Wednesday, August 1, 2002
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Dead Sexy

And Now You Know ... (End Records)

By Ken Shimamoto

Having spent the last four years railing against the “real” rock ’n’ roll (e.g., the MC5, Stooges, Radio Birdman) embraced by major labeldom, I have come to a realization: Maybe I’m just an elitist snob, but I’d rather listen to people who actually know how to sing, play their instruments, and write songs than those whose sole drawing card is, uh, “Attitood.” True, the Five, Stooges, and Birdman could sing, play, and write, but so many who claim their heritage have little to offer besides energy and Big Guitars.

That said, there’s now an Attitood-heavy group called Dead Sexy that, by virtue of its new c.d., And Now You Know ..., is pretty boss. The multi-ethnic four-piece must surely be the only non-hip-hop band ever to claim Como as home. (It so gladdens my heart to see a rock ’n’ roll band that includes both Jesus De La Cruz on guitar and Jen Tran on bass — only in America!)

The bit of gratuitous electronic noise at the beginning of the disc quickly gives way to the thunderous, pounding rifferama of “Looking Good.” Very soon, this Dead Sexy mob tips its hand and reveals that the influence of most importance here is glam; indeed, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone this glammed-out since I used to go see Twisted Sister (“They’re No Ladies, Mister”) in crappy bars on the East End of Long Island.

Kevin Pearce’s vocals have an undeniable similarity to the ultimate glam idol, Marc Bolan, a pretty boy with minimal musical skills but without David Bowie’s art-rock pretensions. (Bolan recently joined the likes of the Who and Barenaked Ladies in the ranks of Artists Whose Music Has Been Used To Sell Cars.) And Lucy Loves Schroeder’s Sara Radle’s guest vocal on “Metallic Blue” provides just the right Joan Jett/Runaways bad-girl vibe.


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