Friday, November 6, 2009

The Prissteens - Scandal, Controversy & Romance (Almo Sounds, 1998)

"When guys tell me like, 'Oh, girls can't rock,' I feel like saying, 'Yeah? Well, what's your fucking excuse? How come you can't rock, you fuck?' "

Defending his band mates, skin-basher Joe Vincent delivered this set-em'-straight declaration in the Nov./Dec. 1997 issue of Flipside magazine. Earlier that year, Joey Ramone had appeared on an MTV program and called The Prissteens, "The best band to come out of New York in years." His brother-in-rock, Dee Dee, would later run into lead vocalist/bassist Lori Yorkman on a street corner. He enthusiastically told her, "I'm trying to get your band signed!" Though no deal was struck via the wining-and-dining with the major labels, the quartet found a stable home for their 13-track full-length. Like Fur -- another great NYC outfit with a one-and-done album history -- the "Why can't they rock?" question concerning the 'Teens was one laced with obvious stupidity.

On S, C & R, big, wet kisses plant themselves all over the boys from the Bowery, Blackhearts-era Joan Jett and a smattering of '60s girl groups. The cavewoman stomp of "The Hound" beats like Billy Childish's beau hitting him over the head with a rolling pin. Another case of nice guys finishing last? "The sweetest boy in town" gets a peck on the cheek; the leery lothario gets laid. Dateless on a Saturday night, the gal in "I Don't Cry" refuses to be a sympathy token for a dude she despises. Conversely, the doormat of a dame tries to fight "Sorrow," but she concedes to an imperfect love instead of loneliness. An adventurous sort makes no bones 'bout "Going Out Tonight" ("Gonna pick me up in a hearse/Got a bottle of whiskey in my purse"). Remember when an IRS auditor named Harold Crick serenaded the lovely Ana Pascal with "(I'd Go The) Whole Wide World" in "Stranger Than Fiction"? Here, the Wreckless Eric tune undergoes a lyrical switch in gender, a la KISS' treatment of "Then (S)he Kissed Me." Be it Tahiti, Bahamas or Bahrain, true love has no passport restrictions. "Party Girl" organizes a 20-year class reunion and turns into Miss Maudlin at the end of the get-together ("When everyone's laughing/I sit here crying/When everyone's dancing/I don't bother trying"). Make sexual suggestions to the cute blonde in line, and her boyfriend will "Beat You Up." Prospective suitors, beware!

Key lines on the disc plainly state, "It's no business of yours who I love or how I live." Talk about not giving a damn about a reputation!
- Gunther 8544

1 comment:

gunther said...

One of the best bands I saw during my Route 44 era. Their set was every bit as good as The Muffs'. So, too, is this album. David Silver once spun "The Hound" at The Peach Pit. At times, the man exhibited good taste.