• Peaches
  • The Teaches of Peaches (Ger. Kitty-Yo) 2000  (Beggars XL) 2002 
  • Fatherfucker (Beggars XL) 2003 

Sexiness is, of course, subjective: different guys are turned on by Jenna Jameson, Tina Fey and the Olsen twins. One never knows who or what will float the boat of desire. For some, Merrill Nisker, the Canadian-born, Germany-residing electroclash provocateur known as Peaches, pushing a sex-obsessed, hip-hop-inflected update of minimalist synth bands like Suicide and the Normal, might be an erotic goddess. Others will find her as arousing as a John Waters film, or those creepy Euro-sleaze movies that turn up on Showtime at 2 a.m. Anyone not titillated by Peaches will most likely wish she would go take a shower and think about something else for a change.

The Teaches of Peaches begins with our heroine announcing that someone is “sucking on my titties,” and that’s about as delicate as the demure diva gets. The album’s tone is more threatening than sexy (although that’s only one opinion, of course), with just a few slow-burning tracks toward the end (“Lovertits” and “Suck and Let Go”) working up any kind of real erotic heat. The rest of the album has Peaches chanting lines usually found on the Penthouse letters page over jackhammer beats and belching synths. On “AA XXX,” Peaches asserts that while she may not have a whole lot happening above the waist, she’s got a party going on below it. “Rock Show” and “Sucker” approach the techno-speed metal of Chicks on Speed and Atari Teenage Riot. The Teaches of Peaches may or may not be sexy, but its single-minded pursuits of nastiness and simple, stripped down electronic music, is rarely unamusing. (Augmenting the original German issue, the US release adds a bonus disc of remixes and videos highlighted (?) by a cover of “Sex (I’m a),” which was an icky piece of crap when Berlin did it originally.)

Best not to dwell long on the implications of the title of Peaches’ second album, nor on the fake beard she sports on the cover; one’s head might explode. Fatherfucker is more of the same, only more minimalist. Peaches opens the album with “I Don’t Give a…,” in which she screams variations on “I don’t give a shit” and “I don’t give a fuck” over a sample of Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” for a couple of minutes. Whatever. Things pick up on the second track, “I’m the Kinda,” wherein Peaches lists all the kinds of bitch she is over a skeletal beat. She straps Iggy Pop’s boney carcass to her back to make “Kick It” a kind of cyberpunk Sonny and Cher duet. There’s more direct male-baiting here than before on tracks like “Shake Yer Dix,” “Back It Up, Boys,” and “The Inch,” leaving it up to the men addressed to either rise to the challenge (pun intended) or shrink away (yes, that’s another one). Fatherfucker is everything one would expect an album called Fatherfucker to be. It’s kind of genius in its own obsessive way, but it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Or the easily offended. Or the romantic. Or the religious. Or the pure hearted, moral and good.

Peaches’ services have been in demand by teenie-popsters looking to dirty up their images. She reportedly turned down Britney Spears’ entreaty to play Obi-Wan in her quest for skanky ho-dom, but gladly lent a hand to the more provocative Pink, contributing to her pretty great Try This album.

[Brad Reno]

See also: Feist