The Pierces -- sisters Allison and Catherine -- hail from Alabama where they were home schooled and developed a taste for country music. When their self-titled country debut bombed, they moved to New York City, started hanging out with the singer/songwriter crowd and developed a style that blossoms like a bouquet of deadly nightshade. On Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge the arrangements are part folk-rock, part new-new wave, part pure pop, but they don't sound like they were slapped together in an attempt to find commercial success. They all keep the spotlight where it belongs -- on the songs and the sisters' wickedly understated delivery. "Secret" is a threatening waltz about hidden truths accented by a drunken calliope and the provocative tag line "two can keep a secret if one of them is dead. "Boring" is an ironic new wave gypsy stomp that delivers a deadpan list of everything that makes life so difficult for the jaded. "Lights On" is Prince-lite, a slow jam with breathy harmonies, salacious ambisexual lyrics and plenty of nasty humor. "Ruin" casts a hex on a former lover; its venomous lyric balanced by a bubbling mix of glockenspiel, glistening electric guitar and succulent sibling harmonies. "Kill! Kill! Kill!" is a bouncy vaudevillian number that celebrates the intoxicating qualities of a love/hate relationship, while "Boy in a Rock and Roll Band" is a seductive romp with a '20s feel, brimming over with sly sexuality. "Go to Heaven" is a shameless song of sexual love with a late-'50s, early-'60s doo wop-meets-girl group sound, dripping with gorgeous harmony vocals. The Pierces manage a difficult feat here, sounding sexy without being coy, and threatening without falling back on the usual femme fatal stereotypes. The 13 pretty pills they deliver may be poisonous, but they're easy to swallow.
AllMusic Review by AllMusic