Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

I love this band. A small dual-ponytailed post-feminist rageaholic ranter frontwoman (Becky Brooks) and her penis-obsessed drummer male band partner (Nate Mitchell), coming off like twisted moral libertarians creating zines in their trailer on the edge of a Southern state industrial lot, meth fumes leaking in from the bikers next door, various poseurs buried in their beer-can littered backyard. Except instead of the small press they write, record, and perform those screeds as pop culture mocking girl group harmonized Borderline Personality Disorder (oh yeah, they got it, or they're fronting real well) Modern Lovers-driven love-hate odes to the haters and shit-lovers of this world.

Doubly Unbeatable follows up their 2005 debut All The Stuff We Do with a broader palette, a bit less angst in some of the tracks, and still contains the magic of a subversively simple sing-along perverted pop duo saying more than you think when you hear them sing.

The messages this time are often more subtle than the grateful odes to abortion and superhero-fucking on their first album, but the sixteen songs here add the production zing of red state production prince Jeff ("Flesh Hammer") Walls (Woggles, Guadacanal Diary). The cruelty of the parody here on the absolutely gut-gouging funny-as-hell but not cool, not cool at all "Cycle of Violence" (in which Mitchell growls uncomfortable lines like "if you want to raise a kid then you got to raise a welt").

Cars Can Be Blue are at their best when Brooks is slapping a sycophant silly ("Pretty Special" with its sweet band-slut bashing lyrics "You get them all with your big vagina / I guess you are their biggest fan" and "Please put that pussy down / because it's been all over town") or even slyly subverting a seemingly hopeful love song (the "sassy" opener, "Sun Blows Up," which is a gorgeous love musical love letter that hides its internalization of atomic annihilation until you've heard it maybe three or four times).

Oddly, some of the nastiest songs are also the most musical, whereas the more merciful tracks are not as catchy. She is one unbelievably mean elf though at times, and Mitchell is one joyful collaborator, injecting each of her poison frosting cake flowers with his own tumescent venom.

There are soon-to-be-classics here ("Pretty Special," "Seems We're Breakin' Up"), redundant satires ("I Think It's A …," "You're On Drugs") and some things that stretch the band a little farther into "acceptable" touring independent rock band territory ("Sun Blows Up," "Coat Tails"). They even throw in a zombie song for good measure ("Eyeballs") which shows that their selected Schadenfreude may transcend the personal horrors of child-birthing, child-raising, rock band following, and sex in general. The next album might be full on United States Black Metal, with Becky wearing enormous antlers on stage stomping all over a miniature nunnery. CCBB is the kind of band where that wouldn't surprise you at all.