Louis XIV

Illegal Tender

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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra

On their debut major-label EP, Illegal Tender, Louis XIV display an admirable swagger and a dirty mind. Singer Jason Hill has a sneer you can see right through your speakers and the music is right there with him, clattering, strutting, and groaning. The five songs call to mind AC/DC (the group that dropped "Dirty Deeds" and "Big Balls"), Bowie (if he were raunchy), the Rolling Stones, the White Stripes, and even a middle-school Fiery Furnaces. The group wraps its hooky, nasty songs up in glitter rock beats, handclaps, dual harmony guitar leads, and melodies that will have you humming along before the song is half over. Lyrically, they will win no prizes from anyone for decency: "Finding Out if Love Is Blind" is offensive to every race and kind of girl imaginable; "Louis XIV" displays an overdeveloped sense of self-worth; and the best song here, the smarmy, hilarious Adam & the Ants-esque "Illegal Tender," is just too goofy to be taken seriously. "Marc," a tender piano ballad that would have quite nicely fit on Ziggy Stardust or the White Album, is the only song that seems serious, and it is just as good as the silly, dirty rockers. As an introduction to Louis XIV, this EP is just about perfect -- one listen will leave you clamoring for their first full-length album. One can only hope it is as goofy, filthy, and wonderful as this EP.

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