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Rainbow Network
23 April 2007


By: Charlotte Cooper

First there was Gaye Bykers on Acid, then there was Chicks on Speed. Tomorrow may bring Women on Smack and Dogs on Dope but in the meantime Montreal's very own Lesbians on Ecstasy have just released their second album, We Know You Know.

Lesbians on Ecstasy are an unlikely hit - bands with comedy names are usually well worth avoiding - but these gals are more than just a joke. A relentless touring schedule and a social network that includes various members of the riot grrl royal family (read the sleeve notes to find out who I'm talking about) have turned this band into a credible act.

Name dropped up until now only by the most hipster dykes in town, We Know You Know and an appearance at The Dirty Red Ball 2007 promise to make them accessible to the rest of us.

Lesbians on Ecstasy are a peculiar mixture of fun and seriousness. Whilst they want us to address them by their cheeky alter egos that's Fruity Frankie, Veronique Mystique, Jackie the Jackhammeri and Bernie Bankrupt they also look like fashion plates from another world and pay meticulous attention to their styling.
Given their playfulness it might surprise you to know that the band wear their political hearts on their sleeves, with music that tackles feminism, gender, sexuality, self-determination, community and more. Channelling Le Tigre, Peaches, and the afore-mentioned Chicks on Speed, this is hard-edged electronic music that thumps through you on the dancefloor.

Politics, lesbian political music in particular, is at the heart of We Know You Know. The band acknowledges that inspiration comes in many forms and that most of the songs on the album have been inspired by that vast catalogue of lesbian music from the 70s, released on independent record labels. This is no dreary, plodding, hokey folk music, it's a nitro-charged plunder-fest, a musical collage that re-writes lesbian music for the dancefloor.

All the cliches and themes are here, sisterhood, womyn and utopianism, but Lesbians on Ecstasy crank up the punk and industrial noise to create a sound that couldn't be more forward-looking.
The best tracks are Sisters (In The Struggle), which features a choir in the chorus, tight percussion and samples. Sedition opens up with a quote from Burzums Varg Vikerness, Why should I regret seeing the light? Here vocalist Fruity Frankie bounces back from clean melodic vocals and darker whispered vocals, urging the listener to, Play me backwards, play me backwards a naughty reference to the fundamentalist Christian back-masking in music moral panic of yesteryear.

Sometimes the music is harsh, unlike the sounds it is referencing - this is not an album that soothes and pacifies. If you are remotely susceptible to migraines We Know You Know might be something that you listen to sparingly. Meanwhile, the new single, Party Time (A Womyn's Luv), is as good a place to start as any. It's upbeat, bouncy, danceable and full of life. A bit like the band, really.
Read our interview with Lesbians on Ecstasy.


Record Review

June 1st, 2007

Lesbians On Ecstasy "We Know You Know" (Alien8 Recordings) As lesbian crunch-techno bands go, LOE shouldn't be judged by their cover. The insert warns us that here there be mighty bloviations about womyn and sisterhood in the form of covers of 70s songs released on labels like Olivia Records, and there's no doubt that these bruisers could kick the asses of half the guys at UNH, and after one look at their Woodstock getups you're immediately like, Oh boy, break out the Moogs. Thing is, as embarrassingly bad as this could have been in the hands of Issues R Us yoga-meisters, it's done so well that you'd swear that all these, you know, womyn ever listen to is Oakenfold and Scumfrog. Matter of fact, it's only for lack of perhaps one extra synth layer, tops, that this couldn't just as well be a big-league dance mix aimed at today's clubs. Leadoff track "Sisters in the Struggle" is a bit rah-rah, but just knowing that it's out there ready to pounce on unwary values voters is gleeful. Order from Amazon.com


The Red Alert Record Reviews: Lesbians on Ecstasy
Week of July 24, 2007

by Joe Cortez

Who knew canucks could party this hard? With a name like Lesbians On Ecstasy, there should be little question in the mind of the listener as to the collective consciousness and mindset of the assemblage gathered to make noise. In fact, the most surprising revelation gleaned from their background is that they hail not from trendy L.A. or hip New York but that haven of house to the north: Montreal. A studio follow-up to their 2004 self-titled debut, We Know You Know is like a breath of fresh air in a scene that all too often becomes repetitive all too quickly. The infectiously danceable tunes that span the album are rich in rhythm and layered with melodic choruses. Their sound can almost be described as a mash up of Peaches meets Le Tigre, which is not to say that this band doesn’t have a signature sound all their own. Such comparisons act merely as a reference point rather than a source of derivation. And that’s a good thing - all too often, modern beat makers allow their influences to infect and take over their work without regard for their own creative process. By sheer nature, the subject matter is geared decidedly towards lesbians but, like all great music, the beats are universal. The most overt track in this regard is “Party Time (A Womyn’s Luv),” a cut that combines rapid-fire, in your face lyrics with a trance-like rhythm to create an altogether menacingly addictive song that hypnotizes as much as it frightens. A bit of juvenile teasing is even thrown in during the chorus with the salt-in-the-wound recitation “Na na na.” True, some of the lyrical content may go right over the heads of some listeners (read: straight men) but perhaps such mainstream isolation is warranted given the mass commercial entertainment on the market that neglects gay culture or addresses it only in small doses and heavy-handed stereotypes. Politics and personal experiences aside, one can’t deny the outstanding musicianship on display here; the album itself is just a joy to listen to, providing enough fun to satisfy appetites hetero and homo alike. We Know You Know is not without its moments of introspection. “Alone In Madness” provides the album’s more intimate moments but is not out of place alongside the other tracks with its lo-fi thumping and trip-hop vocal treatment. It’s clear that the Lesbians’ aim is not to convert outsiders to understand their plight through their music but create a sort of rallying call for the likeminded and, in doing so, have created a wonderful album that has the power to bring people together, if only in dance. It is here that we are reminded once again of the intangible power music can have to bring us all together when in the throes of the beat. As the girls themselves say, “Throw your mother fucking fingers in the air.”