CSS is the first band from south of the equator that Sub Pop has ever released on its fine label. Their name stands for Cansei De Ser Sexy and is Portuguese for "Tired Of Being Sexy." Comprised of a whopping six people (5 female), the band plays a strange hybrid of post-disco electro rock that’s heavy on the synths and funky bass lines. Basically, Cansei De Ser Sexy sounds like a thirty minute dance party full of shouted vocal lines and vapid lyrics.
With song titles like “CSS Suxx,” and “Music Is My Hot Hot Sex,” and “Fuckoff Is Not The Only Thing You Have To Show,” it’s probably clear that you’re not going to be getting anything too deep in terms of content on the album, but things are such a drag lyrically that it actually distracts from enjoyment of the music (which is quite good at times) in places. The aforementioned opening track of “CSS Suxx” is only two minutes long and features a 4/4 kick and some hard-riding cymbals and guitar squeals, but other than a single line, the entire song consists of the singers in the bands chanting the title.
“Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above” is one of the more fun songs on the entire album, as a slippery disco funk rhythm walks all over the place while analogue synths bleep and vocals sing of a playful seduction. It’s all good fun, and then the group goes and drops the romping “Artbitch,” which growls with a bit of a punk rock edge before having any edge taken off with cringe-inducing lyrics like the chorus of “Lick lick lick my art-tit / suck suck suck my art-hole.”
As mentioned above, the music is fun and if I had four or five beers in me and was watching the band play in a packed club, I might feel a bit differently about CSS. As it stands, though, tracks like “Meeting Paris Hilton,” (where the group repeats the word “bitch” 30 times in three minutes) seem to overshadow the places (like the insanely fun and catchy “Off The Hook”) where the group seems to tap into mindless fun without dropping into downright bad territory. Of course it could be argued that even the flat-out stupid stuff is supposed to be mindless, and I should just shut my brain off and wave my hands like I just don’t care, but I just can’t. Maybe I’m getting old…