Saucy Monky


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On Turbulence, Saucy Monky bounce between indie rock and mainstream pop, between cerebral and hedonistic, and between laid-back and rocking out without ever sounding awkward. Passionate and smart frontwomen Cynthia Catania and Annmarie Cullen are the stars of the show, writing vivid lyrics about a forgotten scarf an ex-lover left behind and feeling "thrown out like Tuesday's trash." Besides being above average songwriters, they're emotive singers, so much so Turbulence would be much heavier and harder to take if it weren't for the ying and yang of their styles. Annmarie is an aggressive, coy siren, delivering highlights like "Speedball" and a fierce version of the Divinyls' "I Touch Myself" in a kickass gal style not seen since Veruca Salt. On the other hand, Cynthia is lazy, dreamy, and a sensual kind of comfortable -- steamy front porch one minute, steamy bedroom the next. The story behind the album is that Cynthia formed a label just to release her band's music after being inspired by Ani DiFranco's D.I.Y. game plan. It shows in the best ways -- the album's totally refreshing '90s feel would have been mistakenly updated by a major label -- and the worst: outside help would've pointed out that the bits of banjo and mandolin that come and go sporadically are distracting and borderline indulgent. A little too much filigree, but overall a solid, rockin' pop album with extra sass and sensuality.

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