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The Moldy Peaches | s/t (Rough Trade)
One of the finest movies of recent years, Lars Von Trier's The Idiots, explored the notion that deep within us all is a 'spaz'; the inner idiot that, once identified, can be summonsed at will to unleash whatever mischief or mayhem it so desires. Kimya Dawson and Adam Green ?? New York's The Moldy Peaches ?? seem to have found theirs with the minimum of effort, and are receiving a great deal of attention as a result. It's not too often outside of pantomime that one would encounter performers attired in rabbit and Robin Hood outfits, unless stumbling unwittingly into the juvenile musical universe of The Moldy Peaches. With such focus on Noo Yoik at present, I guess it was inevitable that moons orbiting planet Strokes would become subject to excited investigation, but this particular one is indeed made of cheese: This is a classic case of guilt by association. Whilst chin-stroking psychology students will hail this debut as a work of ironic bed-sit genius, I'm afraid that I am hailing it as a largely smug, wilfully twee, puerile pile of shit. Unmistakably NYC, the Peaches' punk-folk is contrived and phoney, and I find much of this eponymous album nothing more than sick novelty ?? how many novelty records stand the test of time, or at that, gain a second play? As they state in NYC's Like A Graveyard, "you gotta be cute if you wanna get far" and they try extremely hard to be so with recklessly tatty tunes and oh so hilarious lyrics. Check this out ?? "I am a goat / in a moat / with a boat," from Who's Got The Crack. It's just not funny, and neither are the references to dick, ass and pussy-hole. Particularly alarming is Downloading Porn With Davo, which I've no doubt is intended as an incisive attack on the sickest depths of the human condition, and a taboo breaking controversy-courter with it's mention of making out with seven year-old hookers, but as there is nothing remotely amusing about child pornography, it falls spectacularly and clumsily on its face. The brief moments of interest are the most reflective, as in the study in self-loathing that is Nothing Came Out, and the bizarre imagery of The Ballad Of Helen Keller & Rip Van Winkle, but there's little else beyond intense irritation and the ilk of the excruciating Little Bunny Foo Foo, the title of which alone should be enough to terrify. Green and Dawson are seemingly bright enough to realise that their brand of fabricated lunacy is an acquired taste. So much so, in fact, that included in the sleeve-notes is a piece penned by 'Eldar' that reads as something of a cautious disclaimer, imploring us to "see past this illusion of crudeness in children" and explaining that "the Peaches are mocking our own superficiality." Utter shite, say I. Whilst I applaud the Peaches' quirkiness and quest for originality, silly garb and such infantile utterings are so far removed from the cool they seek, they may as well start over. All that redeems this unfortunate release is that it's much better than early Smog, and marginally less nauseating than Bis.

Tom Sheriff
CWAS #8 - Summer 2001