Plenty scoffed when the hip-hop valley boys of She Wants Revenge went all Joy Division-y. Some even called them goth poseurs. Those people were missing the point. Anyone who's had the chance to catch Justin Warfield and Adam Bravin's dark '80s dance act live should have revised their opinions by now. Deliberately derivative and shamelessly pandering, Revenge's debut album plays like a love letter to the music these boys grew up on, tracing the lineage back from Interpol to Psychedelic Furs to Ian Curtis to David Bowie. Killer dance beats, thumping bass, twitchy guitar and rich baritone vocals create an infectious, irresistible dance-floor confection. Live, Warfield, Bravin and their mates concoct a kind of musical theater -- a carefully constructed work of art complete with costumes, self-conscious poses and painstakingly crafted on-stage personae that heighten the rump-shaking impact of the band's dramatic compositions. Snobbish notions of originality and authenticity aside, She Wants Revenge reminds us that it's fun to pretend.
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