Immedia Wire Service

CD Reviews by Scott G Combining pop music with surrealism can be instantly appealing but it’s a fine line between “trippy fun” and “comedy album.” Fortunately, the Tyrants in Therapy (or TIT, as they often refer to themselves) never cross that line. The musical content remains high even as things go completely loopy on about a quarter of the tracks. Comprised of an ever-changing number of musicians, but centered around Michael Jaye and Abbe Kanter, TIT is thoroughly delightful. Sex is Back, Om Shanti Om and Down in Flames Together are the immediate standouts on a quirky, peppy album.

Billboard Magazine

Om Shanti Om JDC maxi single L.A.-based duo fires up the sequencers for this song, from the “Meet The Tyrants in Therapy” set. Together since 1984, beatsmith Tyrant Michael J and vocalist Abbe “Abbe/Abbe” Kanter put together a deep house cut with the real, almost-trancey synths, Kanter’s vocals and lyrics with religious and pagan imagery, while the DJ Genius mix drops in a cool piano sample from a 60s jazz-sounding track. The NYC mix adds some extra percussion to the mix. It comes with an a cappella too a rare find on a dance record so you can become a Tyrant yourself and create your own track. Depending on your crowd, that might be the right answer.

Pirate Jenny’s Review

London, UK

Featured CD Meet the Tyrants in Therapy An intriguing album that cuts up sound effects and some great songs like the faux-naive “Shadow of Hitler” and the striking “Down in Flames” as well as more disco/pop efforts. The Tyrants’ sense of humour and satire is to the fore on their hilarious gourmand’s re-working of Serge Gainsbourg’s “Je T’aime” and the dig at New-Agers in “Om Shantih Om.” An unusual and successful fusion of the flavour of Euro-cabaret and the more interesting side of Anglophone pop music hails from across the Atlantic. Tyrants in Therapy are a Los Angeles-based duo perfecting their own notion of ‘punk cabaret’ which evokes both the arty pop of bands like Devo and the B-52s and a quirky vision of ‘the old country’ at a distance. Detroit born and LA-raised former journalist Michael J and actor-singer Abbe Kanter met in Hollywood, moving from local rock clubs to the dance scene with disco pastiche “Too Tuff to Cry.” Their current work combines cabaret-esque style and wordplay with rock and a surrealism inspired by Federico Fellini. They are currently gigging regularly on the West Coast, playing songs from their long-awaited debut album “Meet the Tyrants in Therapy,” which among other contributions features the bass work of former Bay City Roller Stuart ‘Woody’ Wood. A maxi single of the New Agey mantra “Om Shanti Om, ” with remixes by the co-writer Pascal Languirand (of Trans-X fame), local house DJ Miguel Plascencia, and new-to-the-scene (“there is no avant-garde in Los Angeles”) German remixer/performance artist Frank Rothkamm, was released by Los Angeles-based indie, JDC Records in Summer 2000.

DMA Magazine

“Boy” Tyrants in Therapy Sheik Records (CD5) Delivered in a similar flood-of-consciousness style most recently explored in Ajax’s “Ex-Junkie,” except the Tyrants here employ drum programming and basslines that sound as if they could have easily appeared on an 80s Arthur Baker 12″. Through Chicago-styled papery snares, Abbe Kanter rapidly delivers an East-coast accented, no-nonsense rap for the “Boy” to wake up and grow up, while sinking her teeth into delicious lines along the way like talking in my face, but staring at my chest. A bonus track, the eerily atmospheric “In the Shadow of Hitler” fits a stylized vocal by The Tyrant Michael around a calliope/ soundtrack melody. 122 BPM ***John Hrabar

Metro Spirit

“High Class Trash” BY Dino Lull

AUGUSTA, GA – Los Angeles-based duo The Tyrants in Therapy may not be known to everybody yet, but they’ve been around earning their way for years. The culmination of all the hard work is their recent release “High Class Trash,” a 21-song salute to classic punk, dance and everything experimental in between.

Beginning in the mid-’80s with their EP “3 People Nude Below the Waist/ In the Shadow of Hitler,” the combination of the Tyrant Michael and AbbeAbbe indulge in multi-media mayhem, forming their own indie label in 2000, releasing their debut “Meet the Tyrants in Therapy,” and finally delving into video with their sketch comedy show and videos on the Web. This has given the Tyrants in Therapy a huge cult following, even winning them awards. Following on the heels of that success, T.I.T. have now released High Class Trash.

With AbbeAbbe’s wild vocals that sounds a heck of a lot like the B-52’s and some of the most infectious, catchy, dance-punk ever invented, the Tyrants in Therapy channel the male-female duality of fellow Angelino’s X. But, it is the genre name they have earned that really best sums up the band: punk cabaret.

On the haunting opener “The Truth Hurts,” AbbeAbbe launches across the starting line with a very Patti Smith-style track. “Ain’t Over Yet” has more of an ’80s Go-Go’s feel while the Tyrant Michael’s vocals and electro-pop sound reminds the listener of Sigue Sigue Sputnik.

And if that’s not strange enough, “The System” goes into a country-rockabilly-Dylan funky blues breakdown. Other awesome, quirky songs include the tropical “Apocalypso,” the old timey country “Zodiac,” and the song “BS Hollywood” that has a little bit of everything thrown in to make it probably the most excellent track on the album.

“High Class Trash” is unique, wild, silly, and yet still beautifully crafted. What all this amounts to for the Tyrants in Therapy is that this old school duo have released one of the most eclectic, weird, fun albums of dance-electronic-punk-folk-blues-show tunes albums to grace the long, sordid history of rock ‘n’ roll. Fans of the “Repo! The Genetic Opera” soundtrack, old-school punk and ’80s dance music will bask in the glory of this most intense and awesomely weird album.

The Tyrants in Therapy “Apocalypso” (from their High Class Trash cd)

Any good Friday night party needs humor & Tyrants in Therapy are more than happy to supply that. Sneak this cut in anywhere & you’ll have people roiling on the floor laughing for at least three minutes. Old fashioned margaritaville calypso music added to the book of Revelation. I personally can’t wait to try this one out at my next meeting with the prophecy enthusiasts at the church – this will test their sense of humor. I know Chuck Missler, my favorite end times instructor, will giggle. “When it all came down, it was a sad day indeed for every organism from billionaires to weeds!” LOL!!! “The sky overheated, and the sun got real hot!” STOP!!! You’re hurting my side! “and the earth started smoking like a rastaman’s pot!” ARRGGHHH!!! You guys are killing me HAHAHA!!! I’m laughing too hard to share the rest with you, just know if you love to laugh a lot, you’re going to love blasting this at your next party. To hear the track, select the CD entitled High Class Trash below, and it’s the first cut. Enjoy!

Tyrants Mix Up A Retro-Quirky Cocktail- by Brian Henry/

Tyrants Mix Up A Retro-Quirky Cocktail- by Brian Henry/

Listening to this generously filled new release from the Tyrants in Therapy is a little like spending a night with a garrulous, entertaining French riverboat gambler.  You don’t know exactly what’s around the next bend in the river, but you can be pretty sure it’ll be entertaining.  The iconoclastic Tyrants mix up a fun brew of eighties influences (you may be reminded of the B-52s and the Human League) and sardonic social commentary to create a set that’s provocative and sly. The Tyrants are never afraid to put a wild spin on controversial subjects from gender roles to global warming.  In ‘My Masculinity’, Abbe Abbe turns the table on macho men and provides a sultry, surprising response to a typical gang of sexist lugs, while ‘Apocalypso’ is an instantly memorable party soundtrack for a vivid environmental meltdown.  The Tyrant Michael displays an unsentimental take on the travails of ‘My Dying Girlfriend’ on another album highlight in which the Tyrant gives a dry, matter-of-fact take on his love life.  In their live performances and video work the Tyrants have mastered an off-kilter sensibility that permeates the album and will appeal to fans who like a touch of satire with their music, shown in songs like ‘BS Hollywood’, ‘Zodiac’ and ‘At The Cowboy Lounge’.   The album closes with another highlight, the jaunty ‘Ballad of the Tyrants in Therapy’ which fills in the groups’ surprising back story.  But there are lots of surprises in this set, a great soundtrack for a neurotic night in L.A.
– Brian Henry High Class Trash review

Trashy Tyrants
Reviewed by Bruce Von Stiers June 17, 2009
I was told about a really fun and cool album recently. It is by a duo who call themselves The Tyrants in Therapy or TIT for short. The album is titled High Class Trash.
Tyrants In Therapy is made up of Michael J (The Tyrant Michael) and Abbe Kanter (AbbeAbbe).
They have done comedy sketches, cabaret styled shows and the like. They supplemented their meager show income with some dance track music, having a few minor hits back in the mid ’80’s.
Tyrants In Therapy have been called a “cross between The Eurythmics and Mel Brooks.” Their lyrics are wickedly funny and the music in their songs are a delicious blend of electronica.
Listening to the tracks of High Class Trash, I hadn’t had so much fun listening to an electronica styled album since reviewing James Venable’s Holding Space.
High Class Trash has twenty-one songs and lasts over an hour.
There are several musicians who helped out on the album including Daniel Walker, Louis Ruiz, Bobby Robles and Kevin Jarvis.
The Truth Hurts is up first. It will remind you a bit of The Eurythmics in haunting, yet fluid vocals by AbbeAbbe. There is also some too cool Middle Eastern styled synth going on in the song.
Ain’t Over Yet has some high energy dance music behind The Tyrant Michael’s lead vocals.
The System brings forth a kind of ‘60’s psychedelic film soundtrack mode.
Apocalypso is a definite tongue-in-cheek Caribbean laden song.
Psychoactive is a hot dance track with limited vocals.
Poking fun at astrology and country music, Zodiac brought a fast smile to my face.
Saturday Night Live might have been an off-center ode to Neil Young.
Bluesy rock permeates My Masculinity.
BS Hollywood might have been Dire Straits lite with a touch of Debbie Harry or even The Runaways.
An anthem like dance track can be found in Once Upon A Time.
Another hot dance track is Don’t Be Scared.
Funky and fun, Cowboy Lounge is short but packs a lot of tough energy.
My Dying Girlfriend has some slick music and damning lyrics about blame and non-acceptance.
Other-worldly dance music backs AbbeAbbe’s lilting vocals in Angels Remember. The music in this song could have been found on an Annie Lennox album.
One of the 80’s hits I mentioned earlier is 3 People Nude Below The Waist. It is revisited on this album. Super hot dance track music here will make you want to move your body as soon as it begins.
The Theme From Tammy’s Revenge is a song that will draw instant comparisons to James Venable.
In case you don’t know who he is, Venable is the genius behind soundtrack for The Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack, Scary Movie 4, Clerks 2 and all kinds of electronica styled music. Anyway, this song is a way cool electronica extravaganza.
Words Like That is about not sex oriented words spoken between men and women that shouldn’t be said.
Doubt & Pain Disco has a definite ‘80’s dance / pop feel to it.
The title track, High Class Trash, is a fun song that has sort of a sideways “Monster Mash” or even a “Girls Just Gotta Have Fun” slant to it.
Almost Winter is a slow and endearing song with Tyrant Michael singing his heart out in front of aching piano music.
The album ends with a very funny and funky tune called The Ballad of The Tyrants In Therapy.
The Tyrants In Therapy are most certainly off-center. But they are so fun to listen to. High Class Trash is a prime example of how much fun mixing comedy and music can be.
Check out the outrageously funny and funky tunes of Tyrants in Therapy /10 word review

Kinda like a poor-man’s Eurythmics with splash of humor.
– Jeff Hahne