I.U.D: The Proper Sex
The Social Registry (2009)
If Gang Gang Dance are a mystical cloud of colorful but skewed pop then this side project, fronted by the band’s singer Lizzi Bougatsos, is the complete opposite in every way. The Proper Sex is dark, industrial and claustrophobic.
Bougatsos and her partner in crime, Sadie Laska from Growing have embraced density and sonic abrasion in the spirit of Lydia Lunch and other female No Wave explorers. From the band name, album title and cover, to song titles such as Daddy, Glo Balls and Girls Just Wanna (Time to have Sex) everything about this record screams ‘we are women and we will fucking roar if we want to’.
The aforementioned Glo Balls shuffles between tribal beats and drum corps, propping Bougatsos’ possessed wails on a pumping electro bass line. It’s both funky and threatening. Meanwhile Monk Hummer starts with a low pulse circa Hair Police or Dead Machines that slowly rises into a flood of drums before perishing in white noise and fizz.
At its best The Proper Sex is a fantastic exercise in controlled chaos, built on a foundation of samples, meaningless vocal takes and rhythmic hooks. Though at times the girls outgrow their boots, such as the two-minute 911 that merges more musical ideas than it can handle in its brevity, or the album closer Girls Just Wanna (Time to have Sex) which might be the cheesiest piece of Industrial rock since Rammstein.
Fans of structure and direction won’t find much to like here. For everyone else, if you don’t go looking for Gang Gang Dance you might find some tasty surprises in I.U.D.