Ping Pong Bitches

Ping Pong Bitches [EP]

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A leather and mace (raw) power trio in the most literal sense, the Ping Pong Bitches -- Mandy Wong, Louise Prey, and Emily Hell -- debut with this five-song EP on Alan McGee's Poptones label. Thanks to the group's name, the last names of two of the members, and the titles of the songs ("I Love You Necrophiliac," "Beat You Up," etc.), it wouldn't take much additional info for them to be regarded as a novelty act. They even go far enough to adopt the creepy font of the Stooges' Raw Power album sleeve! But based on the music -- you know, the thing that matters most -- it's not hard to see what attracted McGee to the Bitches. They fall in line with the Stooges/Jesus and Mary Chain/Primal Scream lineage of "gimme hell/gimme danger/gimme pain," but they also take the Runaways and add an electro element. The lead song steals liberally from Donna Summer's "I Feel Love," but the sweaty eroticism is transformed into a bloody pulp, promising to "beat you uhh-uhh-up." "Rock Action" (featuring guitar from the Sex Pistols' Steve Jones) offers more Moroder molestation and biker mayhem, a comfy hybrid that allows for remixing into a two-minute punk song or a 12-minute disco romp. Wong grabs the spotlight for the closing "Chinese Song," the most "relaxed" track on the record. Phil Manzanera steps in to provide guitar on this one, which could almost be classified as pop. Jagz Kooner impressively stitches this quilt of death together; the man who Primal Scream and David Holmes can thank for priceless work on their 2000 releases might not be on the level of Phil Spector with this girl group, but he's a major factor behind this barely controlled chaos.

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