The Casual Sexists: Your Prescription Is Ready
CD | CASS | LP | DL
The Casual Sexists administer a vibrant elixir with their debut album Your Prescription Is Ready. Bryony Hegarty reviews for Louder Than War.
Purveyors of avant-bedroom-pop, The Casual Sexists mix spirited electronica with irreverent commentary. Their debut album, Your Prescription Is Ready, is a concoction of acerbic humour and sonic delights. New Yorker Varrick and Londoner Ed Zed describe the band name as “a way to confront the casual sexism still so woefully ever-present in our world” and their sound as “disjointed pop for a disjointed era”. The duo’s work has been likened to Soft Cell, The Flying Lizards and Madonna’s Vogue. Taking a unique spin on these influences they offer fresh perspectives.
Recorded in a one-bedroom Brooklyn studio apartment, Your Prescription Is Ready embraces DIY spirit. Accordingly, tracks incorporate an array of sampled effects derived from domestic objects, dentist drills and feline friends. Sensory richness succeeds in elevating the scrutiny of dark themes into a safely joyous place.
Word play is central and further to this, the contrast of Varrick’s mellifluous tones and Ed’s English intonation creates texture. A transatlantic thread runs through the album, such as UK cultural references to Soho, Channel 4, and the tabloid press, mingling amongst slick New York vibes. Varrick and Ed say “Each song has a creative process of its own, and most are built, rather than written”. The music that emerges is refreshingly unfettered by lock down suffocation.
Opening track Performance, a rhythmically tight melee, begins with a double dose of candid wit. ‘I’m not masturbating – what, do you think that I’m 14?’. A narcissistic chorus echoes:
‘How’s my performance?
How’s my performance?
How was my performance?’
Moving Forwards Moving Back contrasts gritty commentary and harmonic delivery before I Like Shapes takes tongue-tripping inspiration from concrete poems. Pulsating rhythms on My Heartbeat Keeps Me Awake make for an infectious tune, further enhanced by Varrick’s ironically dreamy vocal that shimmers across the track.
Electro-punk number Fresh Legs encapsulates both the trance-like enticement of dance floors and accompanying challenges of protecting personal space. Elaborating on a theme, the track also incorporates rave beats and sardonic voice over from the archetypal nightclub bore. With clubs having been empty for so long, if you’ve forgotten that feeling Fresh Legs will take you back there.
Thin Line changes the pace incorporating dub beats and following track Hologram Tour speeds out quirky reflections on virtual legacies. The Ballad Of Nicola Crane navigates a bleak hinterland. Muffled sounds of affray ensue before a spoken word narrative accompanied by choppy machine beats and eerie chimes. Conversely, What Happens When A Nobody Dies? chirpily embraces the short attention span, social media and shallow pools of emotion. Closing track Wondrous Disease, although touching on dark realms, expresses a sheen of anaesthetising bliss.
A playful and accomplished release.
Words by Bryony Hegarty. You can read more by Bryony at her Author Archive