Scissor Sisters
Fri July 23
Berbati's Pan
10 SW 3rd

Nobody hypes like the British press, which greeted the debut LP by New York City's Scissor Sisters like the Second Coming. With gushing reviews in such reliable rags as NME and Uncut, I was wary. Were the Scissor Sisters--a ragtag band of thrift-store fashionistas purveying a retro-futuristic blend of '70s pop rock and '80s-and-beyond synth beats--a legitimate find? Or was this just Hayzee Fantayzee Goes to Hollywood?

The answer came within the first three tracks on Scissor Sisters, which span an astonishing wealth of musical turf and pave the way for a thoroughly glorious debut. Yeah, the band's five members are gussied up like freaks, and merely name-checking their influences--Supertramp meets OMD meets Bowie meets acid--is a trip. But underneath the trashy glamour and cheeky pastiche is the undeniable strength of the songwriting. Each of the dozen tracks on the band's debut is a distinctly well-crafted pop gem, ranging from Elton John and Bernie Taupin-esque ballads to prime Eno art pop, whose promiscuous influences are anchored to iron-clad bridges while choruses and hooks are buffed to pop-art perfection.

In recent weeks, the Sisters' UK star has risen even higher; following the band's knockout set at the Glastonbury Festival, their long-charted debut shot to the top of Britain's album charts, a spot it continues to hold. What's more, each new level of exposure seems to bring the band another celebrity fan, with none other than Sir Elton recently singing the praises of his bastard love-children to the UK press.

This week, the biggest band in Britain brings their famously dazzling stage show on a U.S. tour, and if the crowds at Glastonbury are to be believed, you'd be a fool to miss it.

21st Century Foxes