wed 17/07/2024

Album: Christeene - Midnite Fukk Train | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Christeene - Midnite Fukk Train

Album: Christeene - Midnite Fukk Train

Boundary-smashing in-yer-face performer's third album hits musical paydirt

Drag terrorist in effect

Christeene is not so much a musical entity, as a performative assault, an artist who pushes drag somewhere visceral, caustic, wilfully edgy and defiantly unpolished. The creation of New York-based, Louisiana-raised Paul Soileau, her videos and shows have thus far probably been more important than her albums, but her third raises the bar.

Where previously her music has been rap-laden, post-electroclash, the excellently titled Midnite Fukk Train is more fully-formed, in New York’s underground punk rock tradition. And she nails it.

Accompanied by her Fukkn Band, the album has eight tracks and is only half-an-hour long, but is entertainingly gritty and varied, devoted to raw sexual freedom and potty-mouthed candour. Older listeners who recall the prime of Wayne/Jayne County & the Electric Chairs, especially their grubby, libidinous battle cry “Fuck Off”, may recognise the territory, although Christeene’s music is wilder than the jolly pub rock of that number.

“In the dark we will all find each other/In the dark no-one will see us,” begins "Alphabet", which gives us those 26 letters (“A is for abortion”!), then the stompy, contagious, increasingly frantic free jazz/garage of “Beaucoup Morocco” sets out a template for what follows. Christeene’s growly horror filmic voice sings and raps as she fancies, whether the music has Cramps-like twang, as on “I Want it All”, or ramps up burlesque proto-punk, as on “Gutt It”, vaguely redolent of The Dictators .

There are slowies too, where the sax comes to the fore, the persuasively tuneful “Lo Paid Runway Model” and the spooked “Piano Song”, wherein Christeene’s snarled drawl comes over a bit Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs (“If you run away, I’’ll blind you”), but the closer is a rampaging Azealia Banks-goes-cacophonous-electro-punk version of Christeene’s signature song “Fix My Dick”.

The assimilation of drag into prime time entertainment is a societally healthy development, but it’s great to be smeared in the grubby spume of Christeene, who keeps a more transgressive tradition alive.

Below: Watch the video for "Gutt It" by Christeene

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