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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Witches in Bikinis

A Scary Kind of Love

Review by Gary Hill

The second CD from Witches in Bikinis, this is a good release – and in some ways better than the original. The thing is, the areas that improve on the debut are actually the areas that make this weaker, I think. Here’s the thing. The music and production here is more mainstream and accessible. That makes this catch on a lot quicker. But it’s not as quirky or unique. It’s still tongue in cheek and fun – and a bit less “awkward.” It’s just not as otherworldly as the first disc. The production seems improved, though – and I do like this a lot. I just prefer the opening salvo to this one.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Mermaids in Outer Space
A beeping sound calls to mind a satellite. That helps to bring a space element to the opening. It works out to more of a mainstream rock sound for the entry to the vocals. There is a bit of a trippy, almost psychedelic rock vibe to the chorus.  There is a cool suitably spacey jam later in the tune. It's a short bit, though. We're brought back out into the song proper from there. This is rather strange, but also very catchy. It's a fun song that makes for a great introduction to the album.
Dear Dr. Frankenstein

This one feels like it could have come out of Grease. It’s got a very old school rock and roll texture. There’s also some great weirdness in the middle. It’s sort of a twist on the old theme of a guy getting killed in a drag racing accident. In this case his girlfriend is trying to get Dr. Frankenstein to bring her beau back from the grave.

Video Vixen Vampire

A cool rocker, this has some intriguing twists and turns. Its combination of show tunes with rock and roll puts it around the progressive rock zone to my ear. You can get a good idea of what the lyrics are about from the title – and you have to love the alliteration.

Calling King Kong

The lyrics on this modern sounding rocker with retro textures tell a story that would be hard to take. I mean, if you’re woman has King Kong as her man on the side how do you compete? It’s a cautionary tale. There’s definitely a little B-52’s on this at times.

O.O.B.E

Playful and fun, this one has more of that prog rock atmosphere. The chorus reminds me of that old “Witch Doctor” dittie from way back when.  For the record, the title refers to Out Of Body Experience.

Jennifer of the Jungle

A more modern rocker, this is all about a suburbanite girl who spends here time in the jungle.

Party Like a Chimpanzee

Those chimps are all about the partying. It’s a playful number that has a lot of 1980’s rock and roll in the mix. It’s another that also makes me think of The B-52’s a bit.

A Scary Kind of Love

The title track comes in with a keyboard sound that reminds me of prog rock taking on church music. It goes out into a killer rockabilly stomp from there, though. The chorus is very catchy and there’s some tasty guitar soloing here.

W.I.B. Reprise

Here’s a little bit of one of the songs from the group’s debut disc. It’s playful and fun.

All Hallows Eve

This is very cool. A techno sort of musical element serves as the background for an echoey spoken title. I can hear a good deal of Kraftwerk here, but also some James Bond themes and Enigma. The main vocal is a spoken word recitation that calls to mind “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” but with Halloween as its holiday.

Witches Theme

An instrumental (OK, there are non-lyrical vocals), this is a killer number that combines backwards tracked instruments with electro keyboard sounds and other elements. It’s very prog rock like and one of the highlights of the set.

Rhumbazoid
Another tasty instrumental, this is closer to the surf guitar styled sounds of groups like The Ventures.
 
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