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.