Mistress Stephanie & Her Melodic Cat
Take That! (Pressing Records)
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., Feb. 13, 2009
Mistress Stephanie & Her Melodic CatTake That! (Pressing Records)
Stephanie Stephens (the Mistress) and Adam Sultan (Her Melodic Cat) have great chemistry live, their sexualized push-and-pull recalling The Rocky Horror Picture Show in the Weimar Republic. On its debut LP, the local pair replicates that pleather-clad schadenfreude with mixed results. Humor and sarcasm make up much of Take That! ("I Hate Cabaret"), but when the music's stripped down so it's the main attraction, it feels a little, well, limp: "Shake Your Dance Stick" is a bit schticky (sorry), and dance track "Awfully Confusing" could've benefitted from more band. Stephens possesses a wonderful soprano, though, showcased on morose piano ballads "Grey" and "Down Boy," and both she and Sultan get their Exene Cervenka/John Doe fix on the riled up "Johnny Gewürztraminer." Live, such an overall mash-up of styles plays into the duo's love/hate relationship, but on disc, pleasure's more difficult.