Reviewed by Christopher Gray, Fri., Nov. 24, 2000
CharmKissinger's debut CD goes by in what seems like a heartbeat (it's only 30 minutes), but it's likely to resonate long afterwards -- especially for anyone who's been to a mall. If it weren't just slightly felonious, these songs would be perfect for cruising the food court. Calling on the services of Austin's premier pop surgeon/producer John Croslin, frontman Chopqper (sounding a bit like fellow Bostonian Ric Ocasek) and his three mates foster a clinical attitude of get in, get out, and leave a minimum of scarring. At times, it sounds like you've stumbled across an old Pixies album, or maybe the Cure's The Head on the Door, at the back of your closet. That's when the songs aren't taking you back to the Spoon show last night at the Red Eyed Fly. (Or was it Fivehead?) But indie to Iggy, Kissinger are pros. Charm is indeed like a trip to the mall: It's all contained in one fuzz-pop building, but the 10 songs each have their own little specialty items to offer. Plus, in true suburban fashion, there's a world of subtext, such as "Kat," a story of romantic entanglements as intricate as Dawson's Creek. And as the local quartet's video so vividly demonstrates, there's enough pent-up angst in "Rock & Roll Asshole" to blow the supermarket sky-high.