New Wet Kojak This Is The Glamorous

Make way for this slick, gelled and tanned concept album featuring Girls Vs. Boys members Scott McCloud and Johnny Temple. This fourth release under side project New Wet Kojak sees the boys (along with drummer Nick Pellicciotto and synth/keyboard diddler Geoff Turner) delving into the uppers and downers of the modern glamorous lifestyle. Standard perks are explored — the allure, the adoration of Marlene Dietrich, the inclination to wear sunglasses at night — but they haven’t forgotten about the glitterati’s seedy underbelly, either. Here they evoke woozy vodka tonic hangovers, cigarette stench in your expensively-coiffed do, and mysterious stains on new Versace pants. The whole piece oozes sensual energy à la Jon Spencer — yet more of a multi-faceted sex bomb, less of a two-dimensional caricature. The improvisational, almost jazzy use of Charles Bennington’s sassy sax skills helps create the appropriate atmosphere, as does McCloud’s distinctive strained growl. Of course, musical glimpses into dirty nocturnalia hasn’t been new since Tom Waits was born in the back of a taxi cab, but here it’s updated for the electro-pop revivalists with some simple synth work. After a while things grow repetitive; once both the glossy sheen and the ugly bruises are exposed, the point seems to be drilled home and the art school conceptual vibe makes it an awfully heady score to your long, glittery night gone either wrong or right. Sometimes celebratory, sometimes raunchy, sometimes melancholy, New Wet Kojak have run the gamut of glamour’s highs and lows. Think of a NYC version of This is Hardcore. (Beggars Banquet)