Punk is dead, but CSS is not. Cansei de Ser Sexy’s self-titled debut album was created by kids who found punk music’s decrepit zombie, and, since they were bored, decided to rehabilitate it into popular culture like they saw in the Pauly Shore classic, Encino Man. CSS takes all of the attitudes and rebellion against pretensions, polished superstars, and the general idea of music being a thing of beauty that reigned for a brief period of time thirty years ago, and injects it with a lethal dosage of the thirty years it missed, sort of like Austin Powers, or that other movie, Blast from the Past, or Sleeper, or… well basically, this all seems too much like a movie.
Cansei de ser sexy, named for a Portuguese translation of a Beyonce Knowles quote, “I’m tired of being sexy,” came together because it seemed like the best idea at the time, the only other thing to do to pass the time being their Brazilian lives. Apparently, everybody in the band decided they wanted to make a band, so they found their instruments and tried to learn as they went. Feeding off of the pop culture in all of its forms and origins in The United States of America, CSS found itself as a band one day and got signed by currently one of the biggest indie labels, Sub Pop. CSS, in addition to pop culture, uses the things they hate, phony artists and unfounded self-importance, to inspire them, though they would shudder at the thought of using that word.
“I’m tired of being sexy,” is what CSS presents it’s philosophy as, apt as it is their name. The band depicts celebrity, and all of the little cohorts that aspire to celebrities, as what those people are in the morning before they can suit-up into their celebrity images. They’re grungy, groggy, grumpy, sweatpants-clad people who don’t want to deal with people’s bullshit, or their own, and make sure they don’t have to.
The first track of their debut album shouts out this philosophy with the singular lyrics, “CSS Suxxx.” “Alala,” makes use of unusual synth riffs to underscore the satire of unthinking culture of consumption that has consumed so many people. Track four, “Let’s Make Love and Listen Death From Above,” has a uniquely danceable tune that is much more attractive than most of the other tracks. Lovefoxxx, the band’s vocalist, has said that she sings in English as opposed to Portuguese because Portuguese can have to tendency to sound too beautiful, something apparently the band wishes to draw away from. Also, they have said that they aren’t a band that have a defined ethnic sound and that they are not part of the “Brazilian Scene,” but of the “Internet Scene,” where pop is in its most free form. CSS express their hatred for posturing and putting on airs of importance in their song “Art Bitch,” a scathing yet completely called for condemnation of meaningless artists who work to sell and earn fame.
CSS makes music like Renaud films, poking holes in the current version of Bourgeois society by representing them not only in the content of their music, but in the style of their music, contrasting catchy pop tunes with lyrics that simultaneously celebrate its extravagance and condemn it in a seamless satire of song.