Monday, June 25, 2007

My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult: The Filthiest Show in Town

Now for something a little lighter. "Filthiest Show in Town" is the new album by seminal industrial band My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, or TKK. Thrill Kill Kult are known for campy, hedonistic, lyrics and samples. They started out consistently darker then they are now, but from the '91 album "Sexplosion!" on the camp angle has predominated.

They're known for their treatment of gay themes in their music, although I suspect that in reality their sexuality is more complex than that. Which brings us to "The Filthiest Show in Town".

TKK has been exploring the gay angle for a long time, culminating in the recent release of "Gay, Black, and Married", a tribute to disco era sounds and themes. But with Filthiest Show in Town they try to return to heterosexual themes in their lyrics. And, unfortunately, it doesn't work.

They lyrics are totally unrealistic, things that people in reality would never say to women, even if the person saying it was particularly sleazy. The lyrics are wooden, sounding like an imagining of what straight dialogue and interchange is, coming from a gay perspective, rather than what it actually is like. This is really bad because the actual music is both really good and an interesting evolution of the Thrill Kill Kult sound.

Some of the lyrics are just mystifying---like the chorus in "Jet Set Sex": "Jet Set Sex, Let's have Sex". What? Are people actually supposed to be saying things like that to women in reality, in the real world? Or "Take your low heels off and put your whore heels on", from "Jive Ass ave". I understand the concept but I highly doubt that real women would go for someone straight out asking them to put on clothes that make them look like a whore. "Sophisticated Living" has the problem of describing the life of a star in a way that makes you think that it's written by a kid imagining these things, rather than by members of a band who surely have some actual experience in this area.

"Gay, Black, and Married" is, overall, a much better album. The sound, the imitation of disco, is very good, and the lyrics are honest.

The lead members of Thrill Kill Kult may have their feet in both the heterosexual and homosexual camps but they've been gone from the straight world for so long that they seem to have a hard time protraying it with much realism.

No comments: