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Songs for Peeps

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Album Review

Six boys and girls from LA are not expected to conduct themselves quite this well this consistently, or stay so cute while they do it, but they do. Vocally girlie (in all the really great ways), elements of Dee-lite as well as the Breeders come to mind while both genders concentrate on durable banjo lines, spuzz-nutty guitar, and serpentine synth figures throughout Songs for Peeps. A pool-party headliner, Sissybar has matured from their pop-heavy indie-pop Statutory Grape in 1996 into a far sturdier, satisfyingly post-adolescent contempo outfit. Another Tom Grimley production (a la Beck, the Rentals, Geraldine Fibbers), there are some dotty fresh touches lurking beneath, and throughout the white-sugar pop package here. "Yardboat" is essentially a ballad recognizing the hazards of sailing on California desert sands, while "Alien Eyes" is straight from midnight UFO-sighting radio culture. The best and weirdest cut is no doubt "Daisy Putter," sounding for all its worth like a Mother Goose rhyme sung by Lou Reed with the New Christy Minstrels as backup. Wow, whose idea was that? Songs for Peeps is a half bubble off plumb for those of us who dig our pop with a grin on. Strictly Los Angeles on a global scale.

Biography

Formed: 1994

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

The childlike lo-fi pop sextet Sissy Bar formed in 1994 when the core duo of singer Joy Ray and guitarist Courtney Holt — the son of Will Holt, the author of the Peter, Paul and Mary hit "Lemon Tree" — delivered an impromptu performance at a friend's party in Los Angeles. After enlisting banjo player Brad Kluck, bassist Anne Kadrovich, keyboardist Mary Ellen Mason, and drummer Patrick Simpson, the group began honing a sound built around Holt's mandate that the members play whatever they...
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Songs for Peeps, Sissy Bar
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