Music News

Junior Senior

Okay, the hipsters in the reading public invariably know the Junior Senior shtick: one short, one tall; one straight, one gay; one skinny, one fat; one walrus-y, one indie good-looking (as opposed to model good-looking). They write slightly tinny, slightly wet Casio-disco-rock anthems about said topics. Every song is like the ultimate wedding DJ, a stadium grand slam special (already healthily embraced by your Major League Baseball favorites) and future Hollywood soundtrack rolled into one. These referents are important because they're three places your average record store clerk wanna-be would never go to find good music.

All of the potential comparisons -- the New York Dolls mixed down by disco pioneer Larry Levan? -- fall short because they're almost too cool. Do Junior Senior rock? Not very convincingly. (Their guitars are more color and sparkle than phallic symbol surge.) Do they funk? No, they're too stop-start happy to roll out a good groove for long. (None of the songs lasts more than three minutes or so.)

But do Junior Senior pop? Boy, do they. They snap, crackle and pop. Their drum machines shuffle, bongos patter, guitars do chikka-chikka blaxploitation riffs bleached white from years of miscegenation. And Junior and Senior themselves do the call and response thing that's half gospel testifying, half idiot rapping. "Chicks and Dicks" flips the gender binary better than tATu could ever dream, an ultra-terse yet utterly joyous ode to "chicks with dicks and everything in between." "Shake Me Baby" is everything good about the '60s in three minutes. Lord only knows if they have another album in them (and if it even matters), but if you think the best music ever would involve a grizzly bear and a Keebler elf yelping and growling over Chic instrumentals, then D-d-don't Stop the Beat is a Day-Glo masterpiece of giant rubber monster proportions.