The Indecent Cigar Emporium – Straight to Video
Here is an album whose title calls out for the following opening paragraph…
Straight to video (and now straight to DVD) films are movies that were not given a proper cinema release as it was felt that they wouldn’t make much money that way, and could recoup some of their budgets by skipping the first stage of releasing a movie. There is no such process in music making, as CD/vinyl/digital is the first and last step in the process. However, if the debut album from the Indecent Cigar Emporium (ICE) was a film, there’s no way distributors would have let it anywhere near a cinema.
Blending funk, rock, and smatterings of electro, Straight to Video sounds like a poor Republic of Loose knockoff, without any of the charm of Johnny Pyro’s gang. Electro-funk albums are meant to be interesting, catchy, and danceable. However, songs like ‘Heimlick My Heart’ with its false Jake Shears falsetto are more headache inducing than dancefloor fillers.
The album tries to be too clever, and instead of creating mellifluous tunes, the Indecent Cigar Emporium produce disjointed, uneasy listening funk. For an album that’s so well produced, it’s an enormous shame the songs just don’t stand up. They’re dated and disappointing, particularly the awful ‘Alan’.
A very poor debut album, and one I will never return to again. If this was a straight to video movie, it’d be lucky to even get someone to rent it, never mind buy it.
Stream ‘Hemlick my Heart’: