Chicks On Speed: We Don't Play Guitars (Chicks On Speed)

NME Single of the Week

Funny, really, that Chicks On Speed - a band that started out as an art-school in-joke at The Munich Academy in 1997 - manage once more to wipe the floor with all of the self-satisfied 'proper' bands around. There's a fine line between clever and stupid and Melissa Logan, Alex Murray-Leslie and Kiki Moorse proudly have one foot either side of the divide: both gleeful party anthem and brorock satire, 'We Don't Play Guitars' sees the Berlin-based Queens of DIY-electro/no-wave/post-punk winning the SOTW rosette for yet another piece of irresistably ramshackle and homemade avant-punk attitude.

Forget the bland MTVmo hordes or slavishly retro mouthbreathing stadium rock, this has more front and unhinged ideas in its squelchy four minutes than most bands muster in a month. First off, the Chicks make it clear that they don't play guitars. Through the title of the song, in fact. Then they start talking in monotone robovoices about how, instead of possessing any kind of desire whatsoever to fiddle around with six-strings, they'd rather go supermarket shopping like their heroines The Slits. Then they decide that they also like using gaffa tape, probably to hold their broken keyboards and paper dresses together. You should be really disorientated by this stage, but Canadian filth queen Peaches comes to the rescue, wailing away like a non-cheesy Eddie Van Halen during heretic! a guitar solo. A contradictory, demented and thoroughly silly record this, but one that leaves the world a happier, odder place.

NME, 2003