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The Looks or the Lifestyle

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Album Review

Certainly not their best effort, The Looks or the Lifestyle saw RCA pressuring the band to move in a more commercial direction. The Poppies ignored the pressure and moved in a less commercial direction. Displaying an interest in a dancier style that had started to become evident on the previous album, elements of the harsher attack that would characterize Dos Dedos Mis Amigos were apparent in such songs as "Urban Futuristic" and "Eat Me, Drink Me, Love Me, Kill Me." Samples come from diverse influences, including Akira, INXS, and Perry Farrell; this album represents a sort of midway point between PWEI's two landmark albums. Another marker on the album is the addition of live drummer Fuzz Townshend, replacing the band's temperamental drum machine, Dr. Nightmare. After the album's release, RCA dumped PWEI. Ironically enough, "Get the Girl, Kill the Baddies" — the post-dumping single from the album — reached number nine on the U.K. charts, the band's highest position to that day.


Formed: 1986 in Stourbridge, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Taking their name from an NME feature on the group Jamie Wednesday (later known as Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine), the archetypal grebo band Pop Will Eat Itself formed in Stourbridge, England in 1986. Comprised of vocalist/guitarist Clint Mansell, keyboardist Adam Mole, drummer Graham Crabb, and bassist Richard March, PWEI began their existence as a Buzzcocks-influenced indie guitar band, and issued their self-produced debut EP, The Poppies Say Grrr, in 1986. While recording their follow-up,...
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The Looks or the Lifestyle, Pop Will Eat Itself
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