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Record Review - 1 February 26 2003

Contrived pretense has always played a key role in Ian Svenonius' music. From the punk/terror tactics employed by Nation of Ulysses to the Make Up's "gospel yeh yeh," the m.o. has always been an absurdist's take on musical trends. And in the wake of rock bands like the Strokes, the Vines and the Hives gaining notoriety over the past year, it's only natural that Scene Creamers, Svenonius' latest creation, would follow suit. The group's first outing, I Suck on That Emotion, is shrouded in self-imposed hype touting it as a revolutionary rock 'n' roll record. But in reality, it's far from any attempt at trendy revival rock. Rather, it's a logical departure from the Make Up's last release, Save Yourself.

Svenonius, along with former Make Up bassist Michelle Mae, ex-Six Finger Satellite/Golden guitarist Alex Minoff and percussionist Blake Brunner, pay their respects to the shadow hanging over them without mining already-depleted material. Gone are Svenonius' ear-shattering shrieks, which tainted so many Make Up songs. And the penchant for '60s psychedelia has been replaced with a flare for '70s funk. "Session Man" and "Candidate" are just as goofy as anything the Make Up ever did. Mae's vocal delivery in "Wet Paint" softens the mood a bit, while the voice in "Luxembourg" and "House Work For 3" wouldn't sound out of place on Ween's next record.

Scene Creamers may be contrived, but the distinctive I Suck on That Emotion is quite unpredictable.

Scene Creamers play the Echo Lounge Mon., March 3.