New Wet Kojak
Simultaneously maligned and championed by both indie and punk kids alike, Girls Against Boys have made a sizable career more out of their general swankiness than their updating of Killing Joke for the ’90s. And if these same kids ever needed more kindle for their fires of hatred for the band, New Wet Kojak, the concurrent project of GVSB members Scott McCloud and Johnny Temple (oddly, both ex-members of proto-’90s emo band Soulside), would provide it in spades.
Do Things, the group’s third record, finds NWK reconfiguring Urge Overkill’s futuristic lounge swagger for these Internet-intensive times, squarely landing themselves in league with Arab Strap and Morphine’s recent work, but somehow leagues differently than the two. Though there is a preponderance of ponderous tempos, there is also an inexplicable funkiness to the proceedings, almost comparable to playing any random big-beat record at half speed while popping a few Quaaludes. What really makes Do Things a cohesive album is the way NWK seamlessly shift from the languorous and lackadaisical (“Auto-E,” the title track) to the taut and sinister (“Bad Blood,” “This is the USA”) to the ghostly middle-ground (“I Wanna See What’s Up With When You Move”) in between the two, the whole affair actually rendering itself rather inviting. Despite a wealth of obtuse, head-scratching lyrics (from “Show Business”: “I wanna’ party hard like Jean-Luc Goddard / I wanna’ rock like Jackson Pollack“), Do Things stands sexy and sensuous, and could yet become the Hot Buttered Soul for the Modest Mouse generation.
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