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The Scissor Sisters 

The Scissor Sisters (Universal)

It's too bad the pop-music marketplace has been overrun by nostalgia merchants, but things could be worse. After all, a sizable percentage of today's sonic impressionists rip off decent bands as opposed to aping Fred Durst. Considering the alternative, who wouldn't be in favor of that?

The Scissor Sisters, on the other hand, specialize in cheeky variations on overplayed blockbusters from the '70s and '80s -- for example, their ultra-lame rendition of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb," which they deliver in the style of the "Staying Alive"-era Bee-Gees. The result is supposed to be campy, as befits a burlesque-loving, male-dominated combo that named itself for a lesbian slang term. Still, no eyebrow can arch high enough to make the likes of "Lovers in the Backseat" and "Tits on the Radio" seem like anything other than flimsy in-jokes as delivered by a ninth-rate Sparks cover band currently performing The Rocky Horror Picture Show at dinner theaters and steakhouses.

Musicians of the world, hear my plea! Come up with a new sound now! Because no matter how sounds are gussied up, a lot of the old ones are wearing out their welcome.

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More by Michael Roberts

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