Kevin Blechdom

Bitches Without Britches

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AllMusic Review by

Not so much a far cry from the madness of her previous group, Kevin Blechdom returns on Bitches Without Britches with furious power and an arsenal of Max/MSP presets that would make even the most calloused chinstroker swoon in teenage afternoon delight. The opening "Use Your Heart as a Telephone" is a cross between an extremely low-budget anthem you'd expect to find from a country cassette at a truck stop down South and the surrealist genius of Eugene Chadborne. But she sings with earnest and is reminiscent of a children's show host having a nervous breakdown on public access television right in front of the camera. From there things gets messy and bring back the conceptual madness you'd find on early, classic Zappa records. Espousing on the virtues of modern-day cosmetics to liberate herself from daily hygienic duties, Blechdom hits a high note with stellar banjo playing all over "Binaca," and its also one of the several things that makes Bitches Without Britches stand out from many of the albums in 2003. There's a reunion track with her former partner Blevin Blectum, a collaboration with Fred Frith, an outstanding rendition of Tina Turner's classic "Private Dancer," and an X-rated ode to (ex-?)boyfriend Miguel (Kid 606) that is a cross between Toni Tenille and Peaches. While most of Bitches Without Britches was previously released on various labels, many of these tracks are hard to find unless you are a die-hard collector, so having these all in one place is definitely a good thing. Even setting this fact aside, Bitches is an extremely cohesive album that will challenge even the most die-hard Blechdom fan. And while it might prove to be a difficult listen to the uninitiated to the Blechdom brand of madness, patient listening is rewarded with a treasure trove of sonic revelations. Easily her most challenging and impressive work to date.

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