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Chicks on Speed



So what happens when an international coterie of hip and slightly unhinged art students stationed in Munich decides to form a dance-pop band? Chicks on Speed happens. The players: from New York City, Melissa Logan, from Sydney, Australia, Alex Murray-Leslie, and from Munich, Kiki Morse. The sound: well, virtually indescribable. Okay, start with really trashy disco-pop. I mean really trashy. Add in punky feminism, sarcastic self-referential vocal cut-ups, robotic Casio beats and beeps, occasional squalls of abrasive noise and you get an often ironic, fascinatingly reflexive project that is performance art as much as it is music. It's a project that could only be conceived of by art-school drop-outs, but Chicks on Speed might have more in common with defiant feminist punk groups of the late '70s like The Raincoats and early '90s riot grrls like Bikini Kill than the Talking Heads. The group's mix of nonstop socially charged whimsy, tongue-in-cheek nihilism, and damaged New Wave synth-pop (musically they often sound like a drunk Gary Numan) can be a little challenging, but they're well worth the effort.

Chicks on Speed made a big splash in Europe early on with their crude, deranged early singles and their wild multimedia performances. They set their sights on conquering the States with their first American release, the 33-song The Re-Releases of the Un-Releases, on K.