Sunday, May 01, 2005
"Hot Pants Explosion"
There are two different bands called the B 52s. The first is the edgy, parallel-universe group that surfaced in the 1980s and produced spare, stripped-down dance music for frat parties, songs like "Planet Claire", "Private Idaho" and of course "Rock Lobster", low-fi electronically-assisted beats. The second band is the B 52s that resurfaced after the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson, a polished, more commercial and highly camp beach-party wig-out band. They'd found funk, they'd found power chords, they'd found slick producers. They still had the alternate universe thing going on, particularly in the way they looked and the subjects for their songs. "Hot Pants Explosion" is probably the best example of the second coming of the B 52s. There's absolutely no shortage of camp: "I'm in shipping, if you're receiving/'Cause what I see I ain't believing/The longest legs in the shortest pants/You got me doing a mating dance/Pant pant/You got me panting like a dog/Pant pant/Ooh I'm a hot pants hot dog." This is unashamed good-time music, something the B 52s always knew how to do, but it's polished, meaty, relishing its own naughtiness like Kenneth Williams rolling his eyes and saying "Oooooh, matron!"