Tuesday, August 18, 2009


In 1996 Date Bait, one of the 2 bands I was in at the time, performed at the Chiller Theatre convention in New Jersey. 2 of the guests that weekend were director Jess Franco and his actress wife Lina Romay. I was already a big fan of theirs but this was the time that I first actually got to meet them. Also performing that weekend were the bands Killer Barbies and Sexy Sadie. Not long after that, as I started getting involved with Jess Franco via the Brooklyn based One Shot Productions, I was sent some different CDs by various Spanish bands whom at that time were on the Spanish indie label Subterfuge Records. Subterfuge had released the soundtrack for Franco's "Killer Barbies" movie on CD and LP and eventually would go on to release the "Tender Flesh" soundtrack on CD. "Killer Barbies", Franco's horror-punk film starring the female-lead Ramones-esque band of the same name, also included music by Sexy Sadie. At the time, I hadn't paid much attention to Sexy Sadie's 2 tracks on the "Killer Barbies" soundtrack, I just sort of wrote them off as an okay Nirvana clone. In fact the night we had performed with them I was doubling over from the flu and didn't really know what was going on so pretty much I didn't remember what they sounded like. But later, the more I listened to the 2 full length CDs they had out at the time, the more they grew on me and I could tell they really had their own special thing going on and were not a copycat band at all. By their second CD the band was finding it's own sound even more than it's debut. But it was their third full-lengther, the 1998 release "It's Beautiful, it's Love", that really knocked me out. Overall they had adopted a more pop sound although with some very heavy bursts of distorted guitar mixed in. The general tone of the songs is what I would term "bitter-sweet", quite beautiful indeed but with a strong sad undercurrent.

Those couple of years, late 1996 to early 2000, was a great time for me as I was just getting more and more involved with One Shot Productions and Franco and everything just kind of melded together wonderfully. Discovering the old Jess Franco movies as they'd start to turn up more and more on VHS, the '60s and '70s soundtracks being released on CD, these groups and the other new bands from Spain I had never heard before, getting to travel to Spain to start working with Jess... the music, the movies... everything just really came together in a kind of groovy synchronicity. And this particular Sexy Sadie CD is one of the releases that really brings all that back for me.

Sexy Sadie released several other CDs later on, some singles, a live DVD and several hits / rarities collections. It seems they became rather quite popular in Spain before eventually breaking up in 2006. But outside of Spain, and certainly in the USA, it seems as though not many people have heard of them. Apparently at some point between their second CD and this one a member of the group reportedly suffered a heroin overdose and, from what I heard, pretty much had to learn to speak again. The band continued on without him and so I have always imagined that the song "Needle Chill", from this CD, was possibly written about the unfortunate guy although I could be totally wrong about that. Sexy Sadie, like a lot of the Spanish bands on Subterfuge, sing in a kind of broken English that is quite endearing. (Certainly their English is a LOT better than my Spanish though!) This track is one of the faster tunes on the CD, which is not to suggest that the other tracks are any less intense. In fact "It's Beautiful..." is such an overall solid release, there is not 1 weak song on it. So give a listen and discover a new old group that the US seems to have criminally ignored.

Sexy Sadie's MySpace Page is at http://www.myspace.com/translatesexysadie
Subterfuge Records website is at http://www.subterfuge.com/

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