Desmond & the Tutus:____& the____by Yusuf Laher / 09.09.2009
So the Pretoria fun bunch known as Desmond & The Tutus are back, in the form of a four* track, 13-minute, limited to 500 copies only EP. Since their debut, Tuckshop, The Tutus have definitely stepped up the production values. But at the same time, it sounds like they’ve lost some of that handmade-with-love “kwela punk” edge that made them stand out from other local indie bands.
Songs like “Peter”, “German Modern”, “Head to the Side” and “Pictures” stick with you long after you’re done listening to Tuckshop. In fact, the first album is crammed with standout tracks and strong, infectious personality. This time, although, technically, the songs are probably “better” written and more layered, the overall effect is a bit blander. I felt less of a connection.
On track four*, “New Disaster”, frontman Shane sings, “I need a new disaster, I need a new story to tell” 13 times (it feels like a lot more). By the end you’re like, “Damn straight, someone lend this dude a book, pronto.” Track two, “Meatloaf Tribute Band”, is pretty funny the first time, especially lines like, “I heard the singer invented the high five back in ‘91”, but after a couple of listens the spell is broken. Track three, “Your Girlfriend”, is about a friend’s girlfriend that looks like a man. “Dude, I hate to tell you, but your girRRRRRLLlllllfRRRrrriend looks just like Willie Nelson”.
I know it’s only five songs and 13 minutes of limited edition music to dance to, but overall it sounds like something’s missing. One classic track. Something as good as “Peter” or “Head To The Side.” Overall, the songs are neat and tidy, the basslines are disco ball groovy (damn that Nic can play) and guitarist Doug has cooked up some radical-flavoured riffs, but they breeze by without sticking. The lyrics lack depth, reverting back to a hook, and the songs lack that same feel good charm. I’m sure they’ll be fun to dance to live though (if I knew how).