Scissor Sister! The cut-and-paste band that’s tearing up the charts, one continent at a time

Scissor Sister! The cut-and-paste band that’s tearing up the charts, one continent at a time

Stephen Mooallem

The first tip that something might be askew about the Scissor Sisters is that they are not really sisters but rather a co-ed fivesome with a yin for all things synthetic; a yang for David Bowie, George Michael, and Elton John; and a strident belief that pop music begets more pop music. The New York City quintet’s debut full-length, Scissor Sisters (Universal), which has torn up the charts since its release in Europe earlier this year and has recently arrived in the U.S., swoops through the emotional arc of late-1970s balladry and revels in the rhythms of disco crash-era post-punk. “Are they not just quoting a bunch of well-trod musical influences from the past and putting it all in a blender?” one might ask. The answer would be a resounding no, because what the Scissor Sisters do is less akin to making a milkshake than to crafting a patchwork quilt: the fearless juxtapositions, the irreverent selection of fabrics, and the stitching together of seemingly disparate ideas to make something that is at once very warm in its familiarity yet ultimately very new. In fact, the Sisters’ full-throttle impulse for creating excitement might be construed as ironic were it not for their unbridled enthusiasm for pop music and all that it has come to represent–the glam, the glitz, and the outsized emotion. But what should one make of the Scissor Sisters’ wearing their influences so plainly on their sleeves? The answer is simply that they do, and they wear them well.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Brant Publications, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group