Tied as it is to clunky characterizations like "outsider electronic music" and "post-post-electroclash" (or whatever), Black Moustache's self-titled debut flirts dangerously with hipster dismissal before the disc is even spun. There's no doubt that portions of it are worth dismissing (the interminable chintzy drum machine hum of opener "X-On X-Off", for X-ample). It's fortunate then that peach fuzz frontman and Black Moustache mastermind Spencer Product's particular preen has enough posing character to carry most of Moustache past novelty and into mild, fleeting enjoyment. The album's thumping, chilly dance beats; wizzy synths; and sleazy shards of punk guitar, coupled with Product's post-Fred Schneider honk on the mic, is as much cheap and silly fun as, say, singing along with the lyrics "Hot monkey/Hot ass/Cold beer/No class" while wrapping a favorite member of the opposite sex in cheesecloth. That's because "Hot Monkey, Hot Ass!" is as much a joke as it is a rangy, stinging anthem. It fully admits its own fabulously short shelf life, and it's that same snarky honesty that saves Black Moustache from the deepest, darkest reaches of used-to-be-cool (at least for now). "Imitation of Imitation Of" is essentially the same song; it adds deadpan, totally fun, and moronic faux-new romantic lyrics to the mix. Meanwhile, the sole cover -- the Misfits' "Where Eagles Dare" -- approaches a sort of battery-powered Rezillos feel with its high-pitched, bratty chorus harmonies and gritty, oddly canned-sounding guitar. Black Moustache was allegedly recorded in a frenzied burst of extended creativity, which speaks to its strictly momentary, almost claustrophobic quality. There's also the matter of Product's involvement in the electroclash scene (that's so last year!), and the band's own admission of Black Moustache's beginnings as a sort of art project for adults (better put on your paint shirts!). Since all of this makes the music secondary to artifice, it's refreshing that this Moustache looks as good as it does.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus