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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Vengeance is mine, I will repay.

It is the epoch of glamorous unconventionality, when frontwomen dominate, adorned with eccentricities and scented with allure.

So Republic of Loose decided they’d benefit from a starlet at the helm.

Mick Pyro et al have fashioned a musical medium for their ‘Panther Queen’, Tara McCormack, who goes by the fanciful burlesque stagename T-Bone De Minxe.She is the perfectly parcelled leading lady; finely carved cheekbones, smouldering eyes, glossy hair, and festooned with spangles and sequins, her provocative image is tinged with a glittered grunge that complements the group's carefully crafted glam rock disco hybrid that's infused with remnants of Republic of Loose's funk-inflected melodies. Not only are Vengeance and the Panther Queen being championed by what Andy Falkous would havetermed the "technicolour crapfest" that is Hotpress, the outfit have been benefiting from what is arguably a more credible source of support in the form of State Magazine, who tipped VATPQ as one of their Faces of 2010

They've also played the IMRO showcase and are poised to support New York Dolls. A flurry of recognition is frothing

I'm slightly confused.

I under stand the intentions of this group; Missy Elliott lies companionably alongside Judas Priest in a list of influences in which a barrage of pop culture icons vye for attention, an indication of the projected eclectic musical miscellany. Flamboyant characters are assumed, supernatural backstories woven, presumably in an attempt to mythologise and shroud in mystique, magic and charm a band that otherwise, wouldn’t be all that remarkable. Their assemblage of idiosyncratic influences don't translate into the music, which at times sounds like a hackneyed hair band, and their fabulously feline frontwoman doesn't yet appear to have summoned a forceful or compelling stage presence. The legend of Vengeance and the Panther Queen is palpably half-baked on the basis of live performances, which lack inherent chemistry, mesmerising spectacle, or the thrilling ostentation that their fabled inception would lead you to expect;

Out of the the evilest jungle of Panthonia she crept, a deep hunger for human flesh in her sky-fibrous heart. To Hibernia, home of the Ancient Nihili who nest now only in the Rock. With Pyro, King of Fire did she couple, help his Nation of Loose did she. Disguise her person as human for years she hath, till lo, the Hour came when she was unleashed by Pyro, King of Fire, and chopped the heads of the insolent as though they were puny blades of grass, as the flames cleared her feline magnificence made corporeal in the Perfect rock of the Nihili...

Their d├ębut single 'Keep it on the Phone', released on the 20th March, couples an undeniably catchy glam rock guitar riff with '70s disco beats, but it is an ultimately colourless outing; the vocals sound stiff and ill at ease, and what should be intriguing oddities in the arrangement transcend quirk into the ludicrous, such as the intermittent chorus of bizarre, hammy male harmonies. Not spectacular enough to serve as a musical extravaganza, too serious to pin the absurdity on parody, Vengeance and the Panther Queen simply fall flat, it all seems a bit contrived, but poorly so. I remain unconvinced.Below is the music video for 'Keep it on the Phone'. Watch, listen, enjoy, or don't. The combination of options is interchangeable.

An addendum: I've got some Malibu Shark Attack* tracks to listen to, so I'll write a piece on them in the next couple of days. I'm very excited!

*Rocky from Oppenheimer's latest creation. How charming!

1 comment:

  1. I think you're mistaken to assume that a stunning frontwoman isn't anything more than a marketing decision. Look at any early performance of debbie harry, Shirley Manson, etc and you'll see the same traits that you criticize ms. McCormack for. give her a year and shell be on the cover of rolling stone.