Are you more of a fan of non-traditional dance, or alternative electronica? If trip-hop is more your genre than hip-hop, if you prefer spikes and mascara over glow sticks, if your style of dancing more closely resembles a tree in the wind rather than a Mexican jumping bean, perhaps you should check out Fans of Jimmy Century. With a musical style that hearkens back to mid-'90s industrial/trip-hop acts like Sneaker Pimps, and a commercial viability shown by the use of their tracks in shows like the L-Word, Ugly Betty, and Samantha Who?, the San Francisco-based group is poised to take on the mainstream.
Their debut offering, Twist of the Banshee
, offers a bevy of tracks that explore the creative synergy between the band members. Whether the music takes on a darker and subdued tone, propelling the vocals forward ("Blonde Ambition Red Temptation," "Trip the Light"), or it suffuses itself with drive and percussion like a club room stomper ("Hot Sahara," "The Future Will Blow Your Mind," "The Record That U Play"), the Fans create a pleasing array of audible choices for the discerning listener. "Delicate Fever" offers a bluesy, late-night groove complete with the seductive sound of a lonely saxophone, and on "Shy Violet" the singer manages to command you to listen while effectively scatting the chorus. And speaking of the vocalist, her command of her own voice is surprising, and while listening to the album and preparing for my review, I tried very hard to find a comparison. The closest I can come, and this is a loose comparison, is Siouxsie Sioux, but I'd recommend listening before basing your opinion either way on that. "Your Crying Game" is an album highlight, although at first I didn't notice it. After repeated listens, the charm of the danceable track was readily apparent, and the lyrics aren't bad either. "Motorola," "Trip the Light," and "Dirty Little Love Train" complete the album, although I have to say that overall I tend to forget them. And then trailing at the end of the disc is a remix of "Hot Sahara" by dancefloor presence Lenny Bertoldo. Lenny B. pop-dances the track up, giving edge and a progressive beat to the relatively sleepy dance track.
Summary: As a debut album, I have to say that the Fans of Jimmy Century provide a lot to chew and think about. They can do better though, and I anticipate what further exposure will do for their sound.