Music News

Scissor Sisters

The Scissor Sisters exhibit a keen survivor's instinct, with one platformed heel angled toward the past and the other toward the future. In 2001, they made a slapdash attempt to infiltrate Williamsburg's electroclash scene. That big, neon ship went down, but like Peaches and Tracy and the Plastics, the Scissor Sisters have risen phoenix-like out of electroclash's ashes.

Though the band was conceived in New York City's cabaret and performance art scenes, it has found greater success across the Atlantic. Our colonizing brethren made the Sisters their latest "It" band, packing venues with apoplectic fans. Foppish, fabulous, and impossible to classify, the Scissor Sisters are, at their best, deeply reverent classic rock/pop/disco enthusiasts who craft subversive songs about voyeurism, drug addiction, and radio censorship. Not only do they serve Pink Floyd's classic "Comfortably Numb" straight-up Boogie Nights-style, transforming it into a fierce, icy-hot dance track, but they pull off references to Elton John, the Bee Gees, the Who, Roxy Music, Erasure, and George Michael. It's camp sensibility with sing-along written all over it; "Mary" is destined to be the next "Rocket Man," and "It Can't Come Quickly Enough" is reminiscent of everything good about the '80s (including power ballads).

Still, the Scissor Sisters have kinks to work out. At their worst, they sound more like an inferior Fischerspooner than innovative genre-jammers. They suffer on songs like "Filthy/Gorgeous" when they venture too far onto the dance floor, reducing their sound to generic gay anthems. But if their upcoming collaboration with Kylie Minogue is any indication, the Scissor Sisters will survive. -- Kelly Shindler

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