fonda 500. schmoof. vanities. xerox teens

3 05 2003

The Verge, Kentish Town, 03.05.03

The Xerox Teens arrive on stage to a sampled declaration that “you can not fuck with this band.” Their stage presence is aloof, their t-shirt’s tight, their sleazy drum machine-driven art-punk New York raucous. Although ‘Essex Saloon Song’ could maybe do with a bit of a trim, it’s more than balanced by the glitter-stomping “Hey hey hey”s of ‘Image Music Text’. Xerox Teens are insistent, pounding, ragged and thoroughly wicked.

Bounding on next are The Vanities, a band so firmly entrenched in the pop end of ’80s electro that’s so in with the ironic mullets these days they namecheck Tony Hadley – “who’s just won Reborn in the USA! Yay!” and this is a defining characteristic, a manic enthusiasm for the inexcusably naff. They have suits and shades and some pretty good tunes, but they’re not much more than charming.

They’re followed by Schmoof, two cat-suited electro groovers with a brilliant animated backdrop and a great line in electropop. A highlight is a sultry romp through ‘Sweet Child O’Mine.’

Fonda 500 are also electro-tinged but deliver more of everything: more people on stage, more guitars, more noise, more rockin’ right out. The pop sensibilities are still there but with a more knowing wackiness and a fuzzy brilliance. Top stuff.

This review first appeared on uelsu.net. Xerox Teens are still going, and getting better and better.

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