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Disco revivalists decamp to berlin, channel lady gaga
Olaf Tyaransen, 29 Jun 2010
Dark, dour, decadent and dirty (only in the 'minded' sense), Berlin has proved inspirational to various musical artists throughout the Rock Age. It's where Bowie got Low, Cave chased Tender Prey, and U2 discovered cool, to cite just three. Hardly surprising, then, that having scrapped their original sessions on the advice of Elton John, cutting-edge New York glamsters Scissor Sisters pitched up camp in the German capital to soak up some atmospherics for their difficult third album.
They were hardly fish out of wasser. The five-piece band is named after a slang term for a Sapphic sex act, and has members going by such names as (Achtung!) Babydaddy and Randy Real. Like, how fuckin' Berlin is that?
Produced by Stuart Price, acclaimed for his work with Seal and Madonna, Night Work is heavily inspired by the New York clubbing scene of the '70s/'80s, when disco was morphing into house, and a big disease with a little name was wiping out both the nightclub subculture and some of its biggest stars - giving 'Saturday Night Fever' a far more deadly and literal interpretation. Featuring a risqué Mapplethorpe photograph of a soaking wet, barely clad, male ass (expect another Wal-Mart ban imminently), this album essentially picks up where AIDS picked off. It's not the least bit bleak, though the comedy is black and the pace is relentless. These 12 exuberant OTTracks are a celebration of - and in sonic bursts a progression from - the likes of Freddie Mercury, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, ZZ Top and Giorgio Moroder. It's very much a full-on hedonistic dance record, but it's not entirely electronic. Instead bass heavy grooves, glam guitar riffs, and giddy bursts of electro, pulse and punctuate throughout.
Lyrically, as always, inimitable frontman Jake Shears is unable to resist warbling sexual double entendres (a quality that undoubtedly endeared the band to early champion Graham Norton): “Don't point that gun at me unless you plan to shoot"; “I got some apples if you want to you can grab them."