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Do the Bambi

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Album Review

Stereo Total return to their cheap 'n' cheerful roots on Do the Bambi, making it their most consistent set of songs since 1999's My Melody. 2001's Musique Automatique had almost as many not-quite-there moments as it did brilliant examples of the group's synth pop-rock sass; this album might not be quite as ambitious, what Do the Bambi lacks in scope it more than makes up for in quality. "Babystrich"'s stylishly quirky synth pop, the sweet duet "Das Erste Mal" and "Les Lapins" are all quintessential Stereo Total, as are "Europa Neurotisch"'s sophisticated bounce and the charmingly off-kilter "Partymadchen Gefoltert" ("Tortured Party Girl"), which lives up to its name. Do the Bambi's spare production works especially well on the coyly bittersweet title track and "Helft Mir," but also suits punchier songs like "Hungry!" and the robotic synth pop of "Troglodyten." Stereo Total's love of film plays a major part on Do the Bambi, most obviously on "Cinemania," a cute who's-who that name-checks everyone from Woody Allen to Sophia Loren, and "Orange Mecanique," a clever and affectionate homage to Wendy Carlos' soundtrack to A Clockwork Orange. More abstractly, they also pay tribute to Jean-Luc Godard's classic Weekend with two fittingly witty, satirical tracks, "Vive le Week-End" and "Tas de Tole." The group's political side also comes to the fore on "La Douce Humanite," which rails against violence and cruelty, but in a typically catchy and clever way. As usual, Francoise Cactus and Brezel Goring include plenty of smart nods to pop history, from the "My Sharona"-like bassline on "Cannibale" to the twangy, Bruce Haack-esque synths on the cover of Nico's "Chelsea Girls." Do the Bambi isn't a radical change from Stereo Total's previous work, but it is completely enjoyable from start to finish.


Genre: Alternative

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

Though they're based in Berlin, the witty pop group Stereo Total draw bandmembers and musical influences from across Europe. Vocalist/guitarist/drummer Françoise Cactus is French and vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Brezel Göring is German, and the group has included members from Italy, Scotland, and Bohemia. Their 1995 debut album, Oh Ah! on Bungalow Records, introduced their kitchen-sink approach to pop music, which embraces punk, hip-hop, disco, '60s pop, and rock from France, the U.K., and the...
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Do the Bambi, Stereo Total
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