The Lionel Show- Air America Radio

“The most incredible music I have heard in the longest time…ever since speed metal zydeco has anything had such an effect on me. I want to be the guy who turns you on to something that you say ‘yeah.’ This is the most incredible duo that you will hear in your adult life.”
-Lionel Lipschitz


Maverick (UK) – September 2009
The Tyrants In Therapy – HIGH CLASS TRASH
Emotional Coathanger EC 6303-09

****Wild and witty pop fun

I can’t remember when an album has delivered such an unadulterated good time and indeed as much sheer fun as the new Tyrants In Therapy offering. HIGH CLASS TRASH they call it and high class trash is exactly what it is.

Rooted in electro-pop and the genre that dare not speak its name, disco, Abbe Kanter and Michael J take gleeful delight in ignoring boundaries and taboos both musical and lyrical to cook up seventy-five minutes of musical high jinks.

Mindless fun this isn’t though. Words Like That points up the absurdity of (often self-imposed) censorship, BS Hollywood (you know what it stand for) nails another, admittedly easy, target, the title track is a pop at those with more money than class and My Masculinity (sung by Abbe) challenges expectations of gender and behaviour.

But it’s the fun stuff that lingers in the mind longest though, with songs like Apocalypso (which is, naturally, a calypso about the end of the world) and Zodiac worming their way into the listeners’ subconscious and setting up house. All of this is set to wildly catchy tunes and boasts singalong choruses to die for, with snippets of country, punk, blues and whatever else you care to mention, often all in the same song, delivered at breathtaking speed. It shouldn’t work but it does.

Trashy, ephemeral, serious and not at all serious, Tyrants In Therapy make perfect pop music. Check your ennui at the door and party! JS

Britney Spears They Ain’t- by Nick Bendel/

Britney Spears they ain’t.

If you’re looking for manufactured music straight from the production line, the Tyrants in Therapy aren’t your guy and gal. Instead, what Michael J and AbbeAbbe offer on their second studio record is the sort of irony, originality and quirkiness for which they’re renowned.

Nine years in the making, High Class Trash is an excellent sequel to their wonderful debut, Meet the Tyrants in Therapy. To say it rocks would be to miss the mark, because it also pops, grooves, countrys, cabarets, dances, romances…you get the point. In other words, it’s trademark Tyrants.

One of the joys of listening to the Tyrants is to hear the interplay between Michael J and AbbeAbbe, the Los Angeles-based couple who have been married for almost as long as they’ve been collaborating. Sometimes they will attack a song together, as in the jaunty title track. On other occasions, as in the droll Words Like That, they will attack each other, as deprecating lines get hurled back and forth.

Another of the pleasures provided by the Tyrants is the unapologetic way in which they embrace diversity and creativity. This is not the sort of band content to do the same thing over and over again. Instead, they challenge the listener with an array of sounds and approaches. One notable example is My Masculinity, the ironic groove that is delivered in an intoxicatingly breathy voice by AbbeAbbe, and which is reminiscent of the Rolling Stones’ Miss You. It could not be more different from BS Hollywood, the up-tempo expose of the sort of superficiality epitomised by someone like Spears. And that, in turn, could not be further removed from Apocalypso, the playful tune that is part Tex-Mex and part Caribbean. Confused? Well, it all makes as much sense as you want it to.

Perhaps the best take on this band is to explain that while their music doesn’t take itself too seriously, it nevertheless manages to hit artistic heights that most groups would be envious of. In the immortal words of AbbeAbbe: “High, low, high, low/Everybody must get trashy, trashy, trashy!”

Tyrants: please don’t make us wait another decade for your next record.

– Nick Bendel

DJ Times

DJ Times
“Boy” Tyrants in Therapy (Sheik Records)
by Phil Turnipseed

Here’s a kicking new track that oughta turn a few heads and hips. Tyrants drop a serious groove that features a wild vocal that will definitely have your crowd screaming.

There’s a heavy bass that drives the “Boys’ Club” and “Pretty Boy” mixes, and showcases a female “discussing” what boys think they want and who they think they are. It’s actually pumpin’.

But the DJ’s pick will be Boris Granich’s “Boyris Mix,” a 7:28 blast of underground rhythms highlighted by some nice change ups in the bass line. It’s deep and hypnotic and works well into any deep house set.
“Meet the Tyrants in Therapy”
by Nick Bendel

Meet The Tyrants in Therapy (2000) by The Tyrants in Therapy (actually a duo of Michael Jaye and Abbe Kanter) is a fantastic work that takes you, to use the words of someone else, on a magical mystery tour. It is not an album, but a journey. A mixture of rock, pop, dance, punk, blues and cabaret- amongst others- it evokes sounds dating from the 1940s to the present and makes liberal use of samples. The subject matter- amongst others- includes suicide, human rights and cake, not to mention fascism, lesbianism and pedophilia. At 22 tracks long, with constantly changing scenery, it certainly is an ambitious project.

And, like many ambitious projects, it doesn’t always do what it sets out to achieve.

There is so much going on on this album that it was always going to be a difficult task to bring it all together into some sort of coherent unit.

One thing that the Tyrants certainly do demonstrate is an excellent sense of humour. There are many funny moments and the band doesn’t take itself too seriously. A good example is ‘In the Shadow of Hitler’ a cute little number with a mock 1940s sound. The song moves along nicely before suddenly introducing a spoken section, specifically Kanter in a mock German accent giving her account of the war: “ja, it was not the good time for everybody, but for those of us who were lucky enough to be born blond, ooh lah lah, fresh orchids every morning, lots of schnapps for everybody and plenty of shiny brass buttons, oh ja, and lots of heel clicking and goose stepping it was lots of fun, mmn, lots of men in uniform all over the Europe and too bad we didn’t get overseas, ah ha.”

A lot of the songs have such a humorous feel to them. One song that can be admired on its own rights, however, is the outstanding ‘Anna (Go to Him)’, an Arthur Alexander cover dating back some 40 years. It stands on its own as a piece of music, removed from all the gimmickry (both good and bad) which is otherwise pervasive.

Other good moments include the high energy ‘Them Kinda Monkeys Can’t Swing’ and, in a similar vein, a live version of ‘Honky Tonk Train Blues’. One gets the feeling that it would probably sound staid as a studio song; as a live performance it has an incredible vitality about it. A humorous reworking of the classic ‘Je T’Aime’ is also a highlight of Meet The Tyrants in Therapy.

Unfortunately, these good moments- and others unmentioned- are negated by quite a few poorer efforts. On an album of 22 tracks, some of them seem quite unnecessary. For instance there are two versions of the mysterious ‘Om Shanti Om’. Another obvious example is ‘Yer No Jack Kennedy’ a weak mixture of samples and synthesized beats that doesn’t work at all. In addition some tracks, when stripped of their novelty value, are not as strong as they could be.

However that is not a criticism whatsoever of the sense of innovation that The Tyrants demonstrate. In a world where so much music sounds so similar they are to be admired for going their own way, even if it doesn’t get them on MTV. This uniqueness makes this an album definitely worth listening to. Even if it isn’t all good, a lot of it is, and even the bad moments have a way of either entertaining you, or quickly evolving into something better.

RATING: 7/10
Meet the Tyrants in Therapy (emotional coathanger records)
By Julio Diaz

The Tyrants in Therapy combine dance music, samples, ‘80s new wave, and cabaret pop with an attitude that would have to live in a tent in the woods if it were any campier. The net result is a strange kind of audio performance art that’s not only aware of its pretentiousness, it’s soaking in it, making for a record that’s by turns sexy, funny, surreal, and endlessly amusing.

A perfect example of what I mean comes on the album’s second track, the lush and (almost over-) indulgent “Je T’aime (Moi Non Plus),” which goes right over the top with its male-female “cake” innuendoes and breathy moaning, building to the point where the Tyrants ask themselves “Why are we speaking French?” (The answer, naturally, is “I don’t know.”) Elsewhere, the extremely danceable “Boy” reminds me of Murray Head’s “One Night in Bangkok” and RuPaul’s “Supermodel,” easily equaling either for camp factor. “Sex Is Back” sounds like a magazine article about fashion trends, with the vocals conveying the image of a hipper-than-thou fashionista letting you know that anyone who’s anyone is having it (”Sex is back/And if the President can/That means every boy and every girl and even your old man can”). “In the Shadow of Hitler” shows off the duo’s cabaret side, with a Kurt Weill feel and lyrics nostalgically recalling the WWII-era with tongue firmly in cheek (”Ja, it was not a good time for everyone, but for those of us who were lucky enough to be born blonde, ooh la la,” a heavily German accented female voice intones). Other highlights include the driving ‘80s soundtrack rock of “Them Kinda Monkeys Can’t Swing,” the twisted early-’60s breakup song turned bizarre love triangle, “Anna (Go To Him),” and the sampledelic Dan Quayle bashing of “Yer No Jack Kennedy.”

As you can probably tell from the quoted lyrics, this record may not be for everyone (fundamentalists and Republicans are bound to find SOMETHING here to offend them), but those with the right kind of twisted sense of humor will eat it up — if you like the campy sexual innuendo of the Lords of Acid, for example, you’ll find it irresistible (though the musical vibe is completely different). Good, dirty fun that’s definitely NOT for the whole family (some of this is definitely for adults only!). If you’re not too uptight and let yourself go with the flow, you’ll be glad to Meet the Tyrants in Therapy.

Dance with The Tyrants

Dance with the Tyrants
Classic Dance Hits Vol. 1

emotional coathanger recs
By John Hrabar

Coming off a wildly successful mini tour of Mexico, The Tyrants present a long-awaited CD of their dance classics from the 1980s.

The themes and vocals found here are often performed in a somewhat playful manner but always remain under the masterful skill of producer Michael Jaye, who co-wrote all of the CDs twelve tracks

Rarely has an American producer so capably assembled and combined so many colorful European-styled elements, and the dreamy themes found here are sung with pitch-perfect vocals by AbbeAbbe.

Sometimes actual vocal snippets themselves are used as additional percussive devices. And rarely will you find lyrical themes in a dance context that so eloquently express battles of the sexes, the night and its dreams.

Yes, here you can surely dance, but that dancing will be performed in an infinitely more cerebral manner. In the hands of a lesser producer often the more intensive tracks would unravel into utter chaos, but Jaye masterfully glides us through each element of his productions.

Nothing is excessive or wasted.

The varied output of styles found here encompass and embrace a range of styles from new wave (“Paint it Pink”) to Florida freestyle (“Love Crazy”). However, the duo confidently glides with their finest strides in the CD’s Italo-styled tracks which remain very much in parity with European releases from the period that NRG mavens cherish.

AbbeAbbe’s breathy vocal sends “Sweet Magic” soaring, while “Too Tuff to Cry” and “Matter of Time” showcase the Tyrants at their finest: pure, colorful upbeat energy.
Perhaps the defining moment of the entire collection can be found in “Crazy Dreams” where AbbeAbbe sings the passage “in the darkness I go crazy.” It’s a place where we have all indeed found ourselves, among the frenzy of the dance floor.

Dance with the Tyrants is available for purchase at iTunes, and

Enrique Hernandez, Mexico City


By Luis Enriquez Hernandez reporting from Mexico City

In 1983, Abigail Kanter and Michael Jaye and formed a band completely different from the others, The Tyrants in Therapy, who managed to bring to life several hits that are here to stay on the dance floor.

This year The Tyrants in Therapy back with a new production (available only in digital format) loaded with nostalgia and even better, full of dancing. This is a hits collection containing 12 tracks, some of which have never been available for download, this also turns in a gem for those assiduous collectors of rare tracks.

The journey through time begins with “Too Tuff To Cry”, the mega hit  for Tyrants in Therapy, one item at the time of the 80’s scored thousands of young people around the world and is now considered a classic of the Hi- NRG.

The Tyranny continues with “Crazy Dreams” that will turn you to hear his cheerful and catchy sound, but if you’re looking for something more rough, The Tyrants In Therapy have for you “Too Tuff House Rock” followed by “Paint It Pink,” whose mysterious touch will make your feet move to the rhythm of music.

“Dance with the Tyrants” also comes with several surprises as it includes themes of the various projects of the Tyrants in very interesting versions.

The Tyrant Michael electrify your blood and your mind with “Call of the Wild”, while “Sweet Magic” by Dreams Come True will leave you a romantic taste but full of energy. For her part, AbbeAbbe with his sweet and powerful voice will tell the story of a girl sweet and totally in love on the songs “PP-Power of Love” and “Matter of Time”.

The single” Sex Bomb” will take you directly to the 90’s. This collection also contains the unreleased track “Love Crazy” which is a collaboration between The Tyrants In Therapy and Pascal Languirand of Trans-X, creator of the legendary song “Living On Video.”

” Love Crazy” has a different sound to the Hi-NRG associated with TIT & Trans-X, but surely will make anyone dance!

The journey to the past ends with a track that was part of the very first Tyrants in Therapy, material, the song “Underground Girl of The World” in which AbbeAbbe shows a much wilder side but still very attractive.

“Dance with The Tyrants” will make you dance from start to finish and is now available on iTunes, and

If you are “too tough for Bailar” I challenge you to listen to Dance with the Tyrants, Classic Dance Hits Vol 1!

Out Smart Reviews High Class Trash

Tyrants in Therapy
High Class Trash
If you like to buy in bulk, this CD is for you. With its 21 tracks, this LP heralds the return of the satirical punk cabaret duo after a 23-year absence. “My Dying Girlfriend” and the Lou Reed-ish “My Masculinity” are especially entertaining. Emotional Coathanger Records ( —Review: N.F.

Emotional Coathanger Records
Review by: Christopher Thelen

Smarter than the average listener would expect. Lighter moments include the English language version of “Je T’aime (Moi Non Plus)” and the 16-second interlude “Doubt and Pain.” While tracks like “Boy, ” “Om Shanti Om” (enjoyable in both its mixes presented here) and “Sex Is Back” (delivered almost in a Madonna-becomes-newscaster style by Abbe Kanter) get you up and dancing. Titles like “In The Shadow Of Hitler” and “Yer No Jack Kennedy” might leave listeners thinking that Tyrants In Therapy are a novelty band – and while they do enjoy moments of levity, they mean business. Meet The Tyrants In Therapy proved to be a more pleasant introduction to this group than I had expected – and now I’m glad to say I know the band and their music. Chances are this disc will thrill you as well.