Like the Strokes' Is This It?, the album title One's Not Enough seems to be Femme Fatality's way of preemptively baiting a backlash — but really, boys, one album was enough. 2004's Never Had a Daddy was a fun dose of synths, drum machines and dumb-dumb club-kid lyrics that came at the tail end of electroclash's brief moment of ubiquity. The darkwave electro-pop duo's Eurotrash stage names and the intentionally ridiculous songs (like the prescription drug-referencing "Dr. K") allowed everyone to be in on the joke. Since that record's release, the band has broken up and reformed several times, only to reemerge with a new album on a respectable little indie label. The question remains: Are these guys for real?
For One's Not Enough, founder Monanani Palermo is joined by his brother Alexander (who's also his brother in real life), but the formula remains unchanged. The Palermos lead a debauched, drug-fueled existence and sing about their exploits atop a modern approximation of Jock Jams; in other words, cheesy, buzzy synths and clattering drumbeats set the table for shouty verses and cheerleading choruses. The fact that cocaine is mentioned by name in nearly every song suggests a lack of effort; even the most blasé rapper can spin off a dozen or so nicknames for the white stuff. It's like having an R&B singer croon about "having intercourse" — too clinical and unsubtle. Perhaps this is by design, as subtlety would ruin the whole point of the band. If Femme Fatality's shtick is just that — a joke — it stopped being funny about four years ago. But if these guys write, record and perform these songs in earnest — well, that is pretty funny.
7 p.m. Saturday, May 3. Creepy Crawl, 3524 Washington Boulevard. $10 21-plus, $12 under 21. 314-531-3888.
Want your CD to be considered for a review in this space? Send music c/o The Riverfront Times, Attn: Homespun, 6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63130. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.