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November 7, 2004

{     Paradise Boys - The Young and the Guest List     }    

The Dance-punk genre has been riding high on hipster favor for a few years now, getting by on style over substance and coasting on "so hot right now" fumes. Seeing beyond the fad, Paradise Boys have crafted The Young and the Guest List, an album that transcends and redefines the genre by eschewing the faux-earnestness of their contemporaries, in favor of something dance-rock has been missing all along- a sense of humor. They have put together a very tight and inescapably catchy package of synth-driven rock for all the good-lookin' boys and girls to get down to, and they've kept it very clever with a wink and a nod. Most dance-oriented music leaves me feeling a bit like a drooling and shuffling re-re, as though I were the butt of some trendy joke, but there's something rather smart and tongue-in-cheek going on with Paradise Boys. Perhaps it's the over-the-top sexiness affected in the band's presentation, or the smART-punk groove that melds daft electro with keen disco riffs- this isn't your average rump-shaker: It's a slice of post-ironic dance-rock at it's finest. The kind of thing that's equally at home in a massive dance club as it is on your little old iPod, that calls to mind The Talking Heads as easily as it does The Pet Shop Boys, the sort of album that celebrates it's unabashed love of pop music intelligently AND accessibly. This album is fun in a way that music hasn't been since the 80's. That's not to say that it's willfully ignorant- but rather to point out that Paradise Boys have managed to successfully mine that territory without falling prey to mere revivalism. Catchy minimalist synth, pop music in it's most basic form, drives much of The Young and the Guest List; recontextualized by intelligent beats, lyrics that are equally witty and wry, and some very well-placed post-punk guitar riffs. It's dead-on and sexy as fuck. Vocalist Jeff Fare offers up some throaty whispers and David Byrne-esque delivery (one of the highest compliments I can pay) for the album's opening few tracks before passing the mic to delightfully diva-licious Liz Handley. This variety of vocal styles and the inclusion of a couple instrumental tracks break things up a bit, keeping The Young and the Guest List perpetually fresh and intoxicatingly pan-sexual, alternately fey and sultry. This collage of sounds forms something that is both entirely representative of dance-punk as a genre and light-years beyond it. It's the shot in the arm the movement needed if it hopes to survive. While the rest of the genre collapses in upon itself under the weight of it's own seriousness and a glut of samey-sounding releases, Paradise Boys are poised to explode. Released on the band's own PrinceHouse Records, The Young and the Guest List is their first full-length effort. Keep your eyes peeled for tour dates in support of the album, I can only imagine the orgiastic experience of Paradise Boys live....

     » Paradise Boys homepage

Comments

i got kicked out of a bar last week because i said i "was tired of this strokes song" come to find out they were rockin the franz ferdinand!
the fall was something else, ma man, very basic and unorganized but yet refreshing to the socially manipulated brain. i can dig it.

Posted by: paul at November 8, 2004 5:44 AM

p.s. i like the strokes, i feel the way casablancas looks.

Posted by: paul at November 8, 2004 5:45 AM

Paulito- Paradise Boys are a sure-fire antidote for the mopey mainstream indie scene you've been rubbing up against.
These guys definitely have some very Fall moments, but they're really beyond all that current crop of indie-dance-rockers like Franz Ferdinand and co. Plus, it's a lot lot heavier on the synth, think more 80's stuff like almost Information Society, Pet Shop Boys, etc.

ps

I wish I felt the way Jeff Fare looks.

Posted by: Adam at November 8, 2004 5:41 PM
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