Chicks On Speed & Mika Vainio
Flame On
(Chicks On Speed 018, 10")

Just because a portrait of evil is drawn cartoonishly -- in this case sonically, using buzzsaw synthesizers grinding out minor-key melodies, whipcrack drum patterns keeping executioner's time -- that doesn't make it seem less evil. 'Flame On', released as a hidden track on Chicks on Speed's album 99 Cents, pairs the art punk trio with Pan sonic's Mika Vainio -- a strange combination, but no stranger than Pan sonic with Peaches. Chicks on Speed's usual approach is itself indebted to cartoon and collage, rendering deadpan social critique in lo-fi synth punk and electro, but here they offer a more oblique narrative of fire and brimstone set to to Vainio's torture chamber dirge. Chains clank, distant voices wail, theremins beam down messages from orbiting control centres and the grit of grey noise covers everything in a shroud of static. Each element is, by itself, a bit goofy, but together they fuse into a freaky slab of Gothic dread.

- Philip Sherburne, The Wire, June 2004