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Sex In Dallas - Around the War

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Artist: Sex In Dallas

Album: Around the War

Label: Kitty-Yo

Review date: Jul. 28, 2004

Dust off your old Casio keyboard – the one you got for Christmas before your pubes sprouted. Tap the “demo” button. Saunter your index and bird fingers up and down the white keys, like two li’l legs doing a half-assed moonwalk. Wait for an intruder to scale your backyard fence, and don’t stop the music until your Doberman devours him. Congratulations! You’ve simulated “Crazy Dogs,” the opening cut on French electro-pop sensation Sex In Dallas’s full-length debut Around the War.

Repeat steps two and three, but with an awkward nightclub pickup artist providing the ambience this time, and holy fuck, you’ve got “Berlin Rocks,” too. Hook up with a decent producer and John Peel, and you might have a future in this, boyo.

As with the best bad indie pop, the specter of approximating Sex In Dallas in your own living quarters somehow adds to its sideways appeal. This rudimentary party record (don’t think Licensed to Ill; think Eat Out More Often) circumvents any comparisons to any other French house music, simply by plastering a grin on whomever approaches it, without losing the beat. Air never seemed so stuffy.

By the time the club hit “Everybody Deserves to Be Fucked” rolls around, the only thing that’ll smash the stoopid reverie is the admittedly grim fear that Sex In Dallas may become LaTour for 2004. I’d hate to see that happen, if only because Around the War’s straight pop ditties (particularly “Song of the Beach” and the melancholy “5 O’Clock”), sung by coy female presence Adrienne Walter, brim with all the lonely, lovely sincerity of the Velvet Underground’s “After Hours.” Like Green Velvet before them, the SID kids have mastered both the sublime yin and ridiculous yang of the whole desperately hedonistic club scene, not to mention righteously self-indulgent digi-slackerdom. Ever since MC 900 Ft. Jesus dropped off the radar, that sort of balance has gotten rare.

By Emerson Dameron

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