Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters - Review
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critics' view

Named after the slang term for lesbians, Scissor Sisters are a New York-based quintet currently being tipped for massive things this coming year. Lead by a man in a leather jumpsuit and looking like they should be labelled: 'Warning: The next Fischerspooner'. Everything suggests that they shouldn't be taken too seriously.

But beyond the novel, yet camp falsetto genius of current single, the Bee-Gees-sing-Pink-Floyd cover of "Comfortably Numb", their debut album is crammed to the rafters with top pop moments and proper tunes. Taking inspiration from cabaret and burlesque via Roxy Music, Bowie and most notably Elton John, Scissor Sisters was written and recorded for next to nothing by lead Sisters Jake Shears and multi-instrumentalist BabyDaddy. The resulting album is so instantly catchy, you feel you've known it for years.

From the opener, the glam-tinged piano-based bounce of "Laura", Scissor Sisters is a celebration of the outsiders and freaks. There's songs about coming out of the closet by way of threatening to get your mum drunk ("Take Your Mama Out") and heartfelt ballads that Robbie would kill for ("Mary"). Then there's radio-friendly joys that scarily evoke Nik Kershaw ("Better Luck Next Time") and full-on gay disco riot ("Filthy/Gorgeous").

Beneath the glossy technicolour lies darker themes; "Tits On The Radio" is about Mayor Giuliani's semi-sinister clampdown on the NY party circuit. While album closer "Return To Oz" tells of friends lost to drugs. Its grandiose pomp somehow making the Elton references all the more blatant, it's a stunning finale to a stunning album.

Scissor Sisters stand out from the rest of this season's hot tips by being a unique and extremely refreshing alternative to the array of guitar-based urchins currently on offer. You'll be hard pushed to find a better and more accomplished debut for the rest of the year. Both the album and the band are not afraid to be fabulous, and for that alone they deserve your full attention. Absolutely brilliant.

Annabel Caulton
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