After my first listen to Do the Bambi I had to check the back of the CD case again. The Kill Rock Stars insignia was still there. Anyone familiar with the label knows they have a reputation for putting out quality stuff, so it was surprising to see their name on the back of this kitschy, tossed off release. For the uninitiated: Unwound, The Decemberists, Elliott Smith, Deerhoof, Sleater-Kinney and OOIOO have all at some point or another been associated with the Kill Rock Stars troupe. That is some good company if you ask me, and this release by Stereo Total doesn’t belong anywhere near it. It’s evident who this type of music will appeal to. I know a lot of people who seem to only listen to cheap, cutesy, gimmicky, music; bands that have no real substance or purpose. Bands like Stereo Total. Once the kitsch wears off, I can’t imagine even they would ever listen to a record like this again. And boy, does it wear of quick.
The first song I heard off of Do the Bambi was “I Am Naked,” after having come across it on an MP3 blog. It was harmless enough at the time, and I even aired it on my lil’ college radio show. On its own it is a perfectly entertaining little piece of fluff that’ll put a smile on your face the first few listens. Things are much different now that I own (not for long) the album that it belongs to. Do the Bambi is rife with songs like “I Am Naked” -- nineteen to be exact. Now, like I mentioned, that one particular song became tired after a few listens. Needless to say I was less than enthusiastic when, ten songs into the album, things hadn’t changed much. There just isn’t anything to this music. If I was drunk and hanging with a couple of friends at home, it might do simply acting as uppity background music. But we have Bloc Party for things like this.
“Orange Mecanique” isn’t too bad, what with its whirring keyboards and strange melody. Oh, and check the lyrics: “1 meter 69 / 43 kilo / lost child with no tits / and she is only 13 / old men go crazy for her / they know what she needs / dope and they hope / she will step into their car.” Luckily the songs are equally distributed between French, English and German; otherwise I may not have been able to get through the album. The band also thinks they’re ultra hip and arty too (one song drops famous names associated with the cinema – Why?), so like The Kills, Stereo Total are a write off at best. Find a few of these songs for free on the internet, keep them in your iPod for about a week and then delete. Whatever you do don’t pick this up, there’s other quality quirk music out there. Hey have you heard of this band called The Unicorns ?…
- Andrew Iliadis
/apr 15th 2005/