Classic Alternative: Girls Against Boys “Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby” [Touch And Go]

gvsb_300Dateline 1993: Lollapalooza moshed its way down Main Street while Billy Corgan, Eddie Vedder and Zack de la Rocha vented about spaceboys, elderly women in small towns and killing in the name of, respectively. Outside the rage cage, something genuinely alternative was taking shape: a sleazy brand of bottom-heavy rock trafficking in seduction-as-bloodsport. The Afghan Whigs gave Greg Dulli’s cartoon Satan a leering, soulful backdrop. Girls Against Boys, a New York City quartet formed from the wreckage of D.C. punks Soul Side, spliced frontman Scott McCloud’s stalker persona with the raspy delivery of the Psychedelic FursRichard Butler, resulting in an altogether more disturbing character. Inspired by a Spanish soft-core TV show the band watched in its hotel room while on tour near Barcelona, GVSB’s sophomore disc plugs the group’s fast-and-louche style into a set of songs finally worthy of their creepy charisma. Within the heartbreak beats of “In Like Flynn,” the churning churlishness of “Go Be Delighted” and the time-suspended tension crackling across “Bughouse” pumps the pulse of a serial killer. There’s no fake anger here: The all-too-real scary monsters and super-creeps conjured by McCloud and GVSB’s twin-engine basses unleash a wave of fear and unsettling menace. The lyrics on Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby don’t spell anything out but still manage to emit a cloud of unmistakable stank. McCloud growls vague come-ons such as “all the good things are in season” (“Seven Seas”), “stop the machine if you see something you like” (“Bullet Proof Cupid”), “if I can only show you a good time, I’m already tired of waiting” (“Bughouse”), and somewhere the nagging suspicion begins to emerge that the profile you’re building in your head is entirely consistent with the Son of Sam. Then the bottom drops out, and the endless fall through space begins. Welcome to hell, motherfucker. [www.touchandgorecords.com]

—Corey duBrowa

“Bullet Proof Cupid”:

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