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Record Review

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If you want to peg the sound of New York freak-folk duo the Moldy Peaches, imagine Beat Happening with their minds in the gutter or an American-style Television Personalities. Adam Green and Kimya Dawson revel in so much wanton sex, drug abuse and nose-thumbing amorality you might mistake them for extras in a Larry Clark vehicle. But in "Steak for Chicken," they sing, "We're not those Kids sitting on the couch."

For one thing, they're far more joyful, as one listen to "Downloading Porn With Davo," ("Sucking dick for ecstasy"), "Steak for Chicken" ("Who'm I gonna stick my dick in?"), and the self-explanatory "Who's Got the Crack" will attest. Lines like "I'm running out of ethnic friends" and "I used to be dead but now I'm gay" are so calculated, you don't notice the melodies surrounding them until they've been rattling around your head for weeks. And the Peaches perform them so exuberantly that it's easy to forgive misfires like Green's whack-white-guy rap "On Top" or Dawson's lo-fi punk stomp through "Little Bunny Foo Foo."

But they're given dimension by the group's surprisingly tender undertone. When Dawson croons wistfully about wanting nothing more than to spoon, ride bikes and watch cartoons on "Nothing Came Out," she sounds like she means it -- even if she does end the song by declaring herself "just your average Thundercats ho."

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