Album: Scissor Sisters

Scissor Sisters, Polydor

If you wait long enough, it's alleged, eventually everything comes back into fashion. The proviso being, of course, that it was once in fashion. Few, though, would have dreamt that this pop-culture law might apply to that most irredeemable icon of kitsch, Elton John ­ yet such appears to be the case, if one is to take seriously the claims being made for Scissor Sisters, the latest hotly tipped band to emerge from New York's bubbling cauldron of rehashed 1970s values. Because these days, not even Elton sounds as much like Elton as they do.

It's uncanny. The first time I heard the opening tracks, "Laura" and "Take Your Mama", I thought the wrong album had been sent and I was listening to some old Elton outtake, so inflection-perfect was the delivery of the front man, Jake Spears. The catchy melodies and classy arrangements seem to have been designed to prompt memories of songs such as "Crocodile Rock" and "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting", as do aristo-trash lines such as "It's so hard to see streets on a country road/ When your glasses are in the garbage/ And your Continental's just been towed". This isn't just a case of tribute-band karaoke or satiric parody; it's something far more obsessional, an entire re-creation of the sound and style of another artist for purposes other than comedy. And how very weird it is to hear Americans again copying a British copy of American mannerisms ­ rather like all those mop-topped garage bands that sprang up across the States in the 1960s, or the punk groups inspired by the Pistols and The Clash.

To give them their due, the Scissor Sisters aren't slavishly dedicated just to Elton, though all their influences come from that era: the brash, glam attitude; the pumping piano; the hustling disco beats; the falsetto harmonies; and the quaintly decadent posturing of songs such as the voyeurist plea "Lovers in the Backseat" and gender-confusion anthem "Tits on the Radio". The sole cover, "Comfortably Numb", sums up their approach perfectly: this is Pink Floyd as produced by Giorgio Moroder and sung by The Bee Gees, with shrill high-register disco vocals over relentlessly cycling synthesiser. But what, one wonders, does it have to do with mental illness and medication?

The tarty disco number "Filthy/Gorgeous" is probably closer to their core beliefs, with its assertion that "I'm a classy honey kissy huggy lovey dovey ghetto princess/ Cuz you're filthy/ Oooh and I'm gorgeous." Oooh, and I'm bored, ultimately, with the tired old drag-queen, fag-hag notions of glamour and outrage at the heart of Scissor Sisters' schtick, which would struggle to shock even the Waltons' granny, quite frankly. There's also something a little desperate about their yearning for celebrity in "It Can't Come Quickly Enough", about waiting for one's moment, then missing it as it passes. Gracious ­ has it been 15 minutes already?

Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Arts and Entertainment
The audience aimed thousands of Apple’s product units at Taylor Swift throughout the show
musicReview: On stage her manner is natural, her command of space masterful
Arts and Entertainment
Channel 4 is reviving its Chris Evans-hosted Nineties hit TFI Friday

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade (1989)

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
A Glastonbury reveller hides under an umbrella at the festival last year

Glastonbury
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miles Morales is to replace Peter Parker as the new Spider-Man

comics
Arts and Entertainment
The sequel to 1993's Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, has stormed into the global record books to score the highest worldwide opening weekend in history.

film
Arts and Entertainment
Odi (Will Tudor)
tvReview: Humans, episode 2
Arts and Entertainment
Can't cope with a Port-A-loo? We've got the solution for you

FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets

Arts and Entertainment
Some zookeepers have been braver than others in the #jurassiczoo trend

Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant

Arts and Entertainment
An original Miffy illustration
art
Arts and Entertainment
Man of mystery: Ian McKellen as an ageing Sherlock Holmes
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Kitchen set: Yvette Fielding, Patricia Potter, Chesney Hawkes, Sarah Harding and Sheree Murphy
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Evans has been confirmed as the new host of Top Gear
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Top of the class: Iggy Azalea and the catchy ‘Fancy’
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map
    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
    Paris Fashion Week

    Paris Fashion Week

    Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
    A year of the caliphate:

    Isis, a year of the caliphate

    Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
    Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

    Marks and Spencer

    Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
    'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

    'We haven't invaded France'

    Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
    Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

    Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

    The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
    7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

    Remembering 7/7 ten years on

    Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
    Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

    They’re here to help

    We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
    What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

    What exactly does 'one' mean?

    Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue