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Culture Reviews
Electrocute
By Jeremy Schaar
Electrocute entertained Friday at Art Garbage. They sing cute lyrics over fast, catchy chords creating a sound that's half electronic, half pop. And it's wonderful. Created with the Logic Audio program, a synthesizer, a guitar and some odds and ends, the music is consistently upbeat but through different means. In one song it'll be a little 60’s pop music, in another punk, and a third rockabilly. They are sometimes compared to groups like the Cramps. But, for the uninitiated, "we're the B-52s of 2005," says Nicole Morier.

Holly Day (formerly Holly Doll) is the other half of the duo. Both girls are from America, but they are based in Berlin and most of their shows are in Europe. The group began in 2001 with Nicole and Mia Dime (from Austria). Holly joined the group a few years later, and then Mia left due to the busy tour schedule. Electrocute put out the four track Tribute to Your Taste in 2003 and the EP Troublesome Bubblegum 2004 on the Emperor Norton label. They also recorded the song "Bikini Bottom" for the SpongeBob SquarePants movie soundtrack.

On Friday, Electrocute came out wearing awesome outfits. Nicole had her black hair in two short ponytails. She wore a conservative French maid outfit (black dress, white apron) and red and black boots. Holly could have been a pin-up cartoon from a 1944 "Support our Troops!" poster. She has short blonde hair and was wearing a half buttoned white shirt, a tie, a big red belt, short red shorts, stockings and black shoes. With a southern smile to boot, she was spellbinding.

The show was good if not great. Their gigs have been called "infamous hedonistic debacles," and I was excited to see what that meant. But except for a few people, the crowd never let themselves go. It's the band's job, however, to push us over the edge. They nudged us with some dancing and banter, but the venue was small enough that it would have been easy to do more. There were about 100 people in the crowd. Of those, maybe 15 were dancing in the front. The rest were bouncing a bit or just nodding their heads appreciatively. Nicole did walk out on the tables for one song. But, "standing up, walking on the table, it's so obvious," she said. Maybe, but so are catchy chords and fun lyrics.

And those catchy chords and fun lyrics really are great. Together they would sing lines such as "fun is a floppy bitch!" They're simple, but sung with feeling. When Holly sang, "I've got NO time for pain" there was no doubt she meant it.

The second song of the set, "Kleiner Dicker Junger" (Little Chubby Boy), has a bit of a surf music sound and was one of the strongest songs of the evening. "It's about a boy who's kind of spoiled bratty," Nicole said. There’s also an excellent music video. Directed by Danielle De Picciotto, it's modelled after the 70's sexploitation films of Russ Meyer. (Though I don't think Russ Meyer had any chubby 12 year old boys dancing and wearing "Fuck the Sound" t-shirts in his films.)

In the end, the music was impressive and everyone had fun. Still, "tonight's show was tame," Nicole said. And what, Nicole, would an infamous hedonistic debacle look like? "A 300lb Turkish man stripping buck naked." Make sure to see them next time. Who knows what you might get?

06.06.05
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