Reviews

Read the Review
Talltale

Read the Review
Kiwi Jr.

Read the Review
Plaster

Read the Review
Hyness

Read the Review
Black Suit Devil

Read the Review
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan

Read the Review
The Pack A.D.

Read the Review
Chad VanGaalen

Read the Review
Potengowski Anna Friederike

Read the Review
Todd Rundgren

Read the Review
Old 97's

Read the Review
Needles//Pins

Read the Review
Ohama

Read the Review
Nicolas Horvath

Read the Review
Hugo Wolf Quartet

Read the Review
Heat

Read the Review
Parallels

Read the Review
Monica Chapman

Share |


Cover Art

The Beauticians ( )

Cosmopology
Cheemo ( )
Someone should put a stop to The Beauticians before they get too far. On their latest release, Cosmopology, The Beauticians have impossibly gotten more infectious, sugary and vacuous; just like their namesakes. Is this what Canadian independent rock has degenerated into? The Beauticians’ sound could best be summed up as a crossbreed of The B-52s and the Partridge Family; that is to say that they are a retro band with an affinity for poppy harmonies and melodies so up beat you’d swear they’ve been medicated. Not sick yet? Then I’ll continue. Honestly, in the strictest sense there isn’t anything wrong with this record but The Beauticians are most definitely a take-them-or-leave-them band. Those that find unadulterated sonic sunshine without a hint of dystopia lurking beneath the surface will love this record. In Cosmopology, The Beauticians have created a record that is very reminiscent of ‘50s and ‘60s pop in that the “I’m okay, you’re okay� sentiments expressed in “Inspiration� and “Tour Director� seem genuine. Even the pseudo-sexual lyrics like “Is it infidelity/I don’t even know your name� (from “June’s Strip Poker Site�) have the innocence and sing-a-long quality of the best Sharon, Lois, and Bram records. The fact that these songs are so innocent may very well be The Beauticians’ secret weapon. Unlike the Butthole Surfers or even the Beatles’ late work, which could sound insanely happy, it still sounded insane or drugged. When vocalist Beez sings lines like “You’ll know it’s time to leave…wouldn’t it be nice to leave it all behind?� (from “Leaving The City�) it’s apparent that he isn’t talking about shuffling off his mortal coil but simply leaving town. Like Shonen Knife’s lyrics, there is nothing to read into on Cosmopology; it is all there right in front of the listener. Likewise, the accompanying music on Cosmopology is straightforward. That is not to say that it’s simple however. There are elements of Spanish flamenco in the guitars and the violin work recalls that of Dexy’s Midnight Runners insofar as most of the time it compliments the melodies and only occasionally carries them (especially on “Mrs. Primrose�). Where The Beauticians fall short is ostensibly on this front: it may be too accomplished. Unlike Beat Happening or The Vaselines who sounded childlike because the limitations of the musicians in those bands necessitated it, it’s apparent that The Beauticians can actually play and are merely dumbing themselves down. That condescension, whether intended or not, comes through loud and clear. Again, like Sharon, Lois and Bram, The Beauticians act as though they are talking to children and that pretense alone makes Cosmopology a maddening listen.

By Bill Adams
Mar 13, 2004

[reviews home] [list reviews]
 
comments powered by Disqus

More Reviews By Bill Adams

Cover Art Bad Religion
The Empire Strikes First
(Epitaph)
Sep 29, 2004
Cover Art Badly Drawn Boy
One Plus One Is One
(XL Recordings)
Sep 29, 2004
Cover Art Blonde Redhead
Misery Is A Butterfly
(4AD)
Sep 29, 2004
Cover Art Clann Zu
Rua
(G7 Welcoming Committee)
Mar 13, 2004
Cover Art F-minus
Wake Up Screaming
(Hellcat)
Mar 13, 2004
Cover Art Guided By Voices
Half Smiles Of The Decomposed
(Last Gang)
Sep 29, 2004
Cover Art Jane's Addiction
Strays
(Capitol)
Mar 13, 2004
Cover ArtThe Locust
Plague Soundscapes
(GSL)
Mar 13, 2004
Cover ArtThe Prodigy
Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned
(XL Recordings)
Sep 29, 2004
Cover Art Raised Fist
Dedication
(Burning Heart)
Mar 13, 2004
Cover Art Sleater-Kinney
One Beat
(Kill Rock Stars)
Mar 13, 2004
Cover Art Turbonegro
Scandinavian Leather
(Epitaph)
Mar 13, 2004
Cover Art Ween
Live In Chicago
(EMI)
Sep 29, 2004
Cover ArtPaul Westerberg
Folker
(Anti-)
Sep 29, 2004
header bottom