Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Sam Patlove and Shannon Blowtorch, Mastered by Sam Patlove
The dance music that MEN make is not the dance music that your mother or your father were brought up on. It's the dance music that you find yourself listening to before a night of petty mischief, of going out and busting mailboxes with baseball bats. It's the kind of dance music that you put on before you exact a little revenge or flame a catfight. It's the dance music that you find yourself yearning for just prior to taking to the streets for some relatively harmless vandalism - you know, a little egging or a slassssshhhhhhhing of a tire or two. It just seems as if there are some scores to be paid when we listen to MEN - the newest project from Le Tigre's JD Samson. It's not the dance music that brings all of the perfumed ladies in tight, skimpy dresses or those slick-haired dudes in their unbuttoned dress shirts out to the clubs. The dance clubs that MEN will be found playing in will be dance clubs for the rejected, for the depraved, for the under-fed and for the ill-fitted. They are the dance clubs where most feel themselves looking out of the corner of their eyes for that someone or that something that can either be roughed or taken and what would follow would be some kind of closure or explosion, sometimes both. Often those visions from the corners of eyes are blank and the feeling of being on edge or missing something remains. Perhaps that's what's trying to be danced off, when all is said and done. Samson, when she sings, has that poison in her voice, or that hiss that lets you know not to step any closer than you already are, or else there could be some price to pay. It could be a monetary price or it could be something that could get a bit messier. "Double Dare Ya," is the anthem for the fight that we were talking about earlier. It's a song that's calling on a "girlfriend," but this is no friend. It's certainly an enemy and it's going to remain an enemy from the sound of things. There will be fur and nails flying this way and that. It seems as if there's a fair amount of touchiness pouncing around the lively songs from the group's debut full-length, "Talk About Body." It seems as if there's something that's bothering them, that they just want to get off their chests and often them do, reminding us that we're surrounded by a good number of suckers, as well as the fact that "buildings rise and fall and people do the same." It's as if there's no one out there to trust or to bet on. "Boom Boom Boom" provides some war commentary in the form of suggesting that there are wars happening everywhere - "Fighting at home and abroad/What's the difference between you and a tree?" - and not knowing what to make of all that aggression. It might just be smartest to either slash a tire or to dance it off. Maybe there doesn't need to be any choosing involved. You can go ahead and do both. You'll feel better that you did.