The ugliness that greeted Fischerspooner’s 2001 debut, #1, was an overreaction to either the band’s perceived hubris (the record was subtitled Best Album Ever) or the creation of the electroclash genre in general. The album was by no means perfect, though it did include the spectacular single “Emerge” and a loving cover of Wire’s “The 15th.” Time has been kind to the debut, and the bones of electroclash are the foundation of much — if not all — of modern indie pop. So if there was ever a perfect time for the band to come back, it’s now. And the new Fischerspooner album SIR, the duo’s first release in nine years, is the best thing that Warren Fischer and frontman Casey Spooner have ever put their combined name on.
Produced with Michael Stipe (formerly of R.E.M., who, fun fact, the band covered as the last track on 2009’s Entertainment) and Boots, these 13 tracks are the strongest and, well, gayest songs they’ve created.
Even if you haven’t seen the orgy of limbs and shadow that is the video for the single “Top Brazil”, you’d know that carnality is the special of the day from the slinky electronic rhythms throughout.
Hell, a simple perusal of the track titles would key you in: “Get It On,” “I Need Love,” “Dark Pink” — to name but three — don’t disappoint. Neither does the redlight beefcake of “Togetherness” (with a guest turn from Chairlift’s Caroline Polacheck) or the ’70s gay porn vibe of “Have Fun Tonight.”
Most surprising of all, though, is the soul infused in Casey Spooner’s vocals on this new Fischerspooner album. Electroclash by nature is an icy music, yet by concentrating on the erotic and suggestive, Spooner teases out the underlying frisson that’s the sweet tension-and-release of the biological dance.
He’s such a smooth operator here — not to mention a muscle daddy — that all you can really do is give in and say “yes sir.”