Arts & Entertainment
3 min

CD reviews: Peaches and Mojave 3

Unplugging the beat box

MOUTH OFF. Her third album, Impeach My Bush, shows Peaches is a rock god in the making. waiting.

Peaches (aka Merill Nisker) makes rockin’ retro dance music with static beeps and dirty words. She’s a white girl giving the tired sexual assaults of straight hip-hop boys a run for the money.

Her 2000 debut, The Teaches Of Peaches was a refreshingly urgent and thoroughly enjoyable sleazefest. Her sexual liberation/ fuck you rants were divinely queer. The 2003 follow-up Fatherfucker was a disappointingly sparse piece of booty-shaking obviousness. Her new album Impeach My Bush (releasing Tue, Jul 11) shows her potty-mouth rants are getting just as tired as the boys’ — but at least this third CD has energy.

Peaches’ words are still childish political/sexual nonsense but the beats flip and spin in a delightfully camp way. If you’re drunk, drugged up and horny in a dive club the sound will surely dazzle. But it’s really just the Mary Jane Girls in The Runaways’ clothing. She’s not the brazen innovator that everyone thinks she is.

On the 48-second opener “Fuck Or Kill,” Peaches talks over the clip clop drums with an in your face Peppermint Patty confidence. “I’d rather fuck who I want/ Than kill who I am told to/ Let’s face it/ We all want tush/ If I’m wrong/ Impeach my Bush.”

“Slippery Dick” has Peaches giving her best wordplay bits to pulsating electro-farts. There are a lot more rhymes and the words assault with cheeky pleasures. “Fist fuck/ Cock suck/ What’s the diff?” she sings. “Slippery dick/ It’s just a fish in the Atlantic.”

I really love “Give ‘er.” The straight-ahead guitars, hand claps and Peaches’ raspy rockin’ singing has an urgent blissfulness that carries the song to raunch heaven. “How many times baby is it gonna be before I break away,” she bellows. “Falling for something better baby you just can’t explain.”

The album works but it’s missing something. Guests like Feist, Gossip’s Beth Ditto, Queen Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme and Joan Jett can’t hide the limitations of Peaches admirable open-minded sex lib. The dance beats aren’t that special. But there are wonderful things brewing. It’s the rocker numbers that are the beauts, where Peaches has more emotional spark. There are sneers hiding the tears. She’s more human and relatable on these tracks. She’s giving you her humanity and not being ever so fashionably cool.

“Do Ya” is the one, let me tell ya. It’s just full of perfect pop simplicity. There’s a confident bite to it. It drips more sexiness than all the other tracks and there’s not a dirty word to be had (not that that’s a bad thing). Raw guitars cunningly collide into Peaches’ proclamations. She howls, “I am the one who will take you/ Do you wanna go?/ Be in my show/ You can shake it a bit/ Or scream and sway.”

It’s brilliant. But it’s followed by the last weak track “Stick It To The Pimp” (though I love the title). Peaches chants to mindless dance beats, “You want to stick it/ I want to stick it/ I bet you thought I was going to say in/ But I’m not.” Ugh… same old, same old. Please, I beg you Peaches, get rid of the dance beats, plug in those guitars and crank it up to 11. Be the rocker you were born to play.

Mojave 3‘s self-produced fifth album Puzzles Like You is a livelier and peppier piece of pop than we usually get from this band. Front man Neil Halstead and his musical peeps have rid themselves of their precious shoe-gazing folksy past and have let the sunshine in. It’s simply just a lovely album to pass the lazy, hazy, crazy daze of summer.

“You Said It Before” starts with happy loud water drips (I know, trust me) and sly lap steel; when Halstead’s supreme voice comes in, it’s a divine thing. “And you said it before/ And you’ll say it once more,” he sings. “It’s just your eyes boy/ Making me lonely.”

On “Just A Boy” the band gets very Smithsesque. The vibrant guitars assault the pounding drums as Halstead and band mate Rachael Goswell harmonize with a more aggressive style than usual. “The summer of hate/ A lonely crusade and the noise on TV/ Lost on me and yeah lost on you/ The battles we fight are all our own.”

The last track, “Mutineer,” harks back to the more sullen work from the band’s past. But they do sad so beautifully, who cares? A weeping guitar bleeds into Halstead’s romantic whispers. “Could change this room/ With these cards/ This tune/ And one mouth could form a smile.” The album asks nothing more of you than to just tag along on this game called life.