Sigue Sigue Sputnik

Flaunt It

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Sigue Sigue Sputnik's first single, "Love Missile F1-11," was unlike anything heard in the 30-plus years of rock & roll. Gunfire and explosions, bits of Mozart, then mad Thunders-like guitar breaks, backwards vocals, and tons of reverb all add to a song that shifts and changes every few seconds, leaving no chance that the listener will grow bored. Lines like "A U.S. bomb cruises overheard/There goes my love, rocket-red," allude to sex and nuclear war. Singer Martin Degville repeated calls to "Shoot it up!" sound like Elvis by way of Alan Vega, and every influence is thrown in, including Eddie Cochran, Marc Bolan, Suicide, Gene Vincent, David Bowie, and Little Richard, as well as ultra-violent movies like Scareface and the Terminator to create the pop song. "Love Missile F1-11" opens Flaunt It, with a harsh, attention grabbing synthesized symphonic crash, followed by a single, repeated phrase that explicates their true intentions: "I wanna be a star!" The subdued "Atari Baby," the track that has the dubious distinction of following the cacophonous "Love Missile," is a welcome comedown, but is disturbing nonetheless. An ominous love song for the virtual reality age, when sex with a human is replaced by sex with a video game. "Sex Bomb Boogie" sounds a lot like "Love Missile," but does contain such amusing bubblegum glam couplets as "King Kong boogie/dance on, dance on," and "Come one baby, love me like a rocket." No band influenced Sputnik more than the New York City duo Suicide, and "Rockit Miss USA" is the most obvious example of this. On what is basically a straight rip of Suicide's "Rocket USA," Sputnik make their biggest statements. The song addresses not only the ascending vigilante justice in America, but the constant threat of the then two super powers destroying the world in a nuclear showdown. The Bolan influence comes to the forefront in "21st Century Boy" ("20th Century Boy" was one of T.Rex's great singles). Degville keeps insisting he's "a space cowboy," while looped Cochran-like guitar samples keep the track bouncing. Random outbursts like "Sigue Sigue Sputnik -- affordable fire power!" make the song their most hysterically funny number, but others eluding to the dehumanization of mankind ("I am the ultimate product!") and that we love products rather than the people around us ("I love technology"), now ring a little too true for comfort. Flaunt It runs out of steam at the end, but only because the remaining three tracks are stuck with the near impossible task of measuring up to the most over of over-the-top rock & roll the world had heard yet. Sigue Sigue Sputnik succeeded in their attempt to create the ultimate rock & roll fantasy, one full of violent, futuristic imagery that was cartoonish, yet often if you listened close enough, had, surprisingly, something to say.

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