PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.


Chicks on Speed: The Re-Releases of the Un-Releases

Eden Miller

Chicks on Speed

The Re-Releases of the Un-Releases

Label: K
US Release Date: 2000-10-31

More of a sonic art project than a band, the three international women that make up Chicks on Speed exude a laid-back coolness during every moment of The Un-Releases. Combining electronica with a punk ethic (and a healthy dose of insane strangeness), this compilation of leftover material, bits of interviews and remixes of original Chicks on Speed songs, The Un-Releases is inexplicably brilliant. It may be one of the weirdly intelligent and exhaustingly fun collection of music ever recorded.

With a European flair for glamour with a very do-it-yourself attitude, Chicks on Speed never shy away from being boldly irreverent, from their deadpan cover of Cracker's "Euro Trash Girl" to the wild "Procrastinator". Their apparent sense of humor gives their music a fabulous self-awareness. While they obviously don't take themselves seriously, it's clear that they are serious about what they're doing. Chicks on Speed may be having fun, but that doesn't mean you should dismiss them.

Lyrically, Chicks on Speed are joyfully bizarre. On "Song for a Future Generation", which contains readings of fake personal ads, the chorus focuses around "let's meet and have a baby now". "Mind Your Own Business" features a list of strange requests, ranging from "Can I have a taste of your ice cream?" to "Can I interfere in your crisis?" each eventually greeted with the response of "Mind your own business". The meaning is placed more on the sounds of words than their actual connotations.

Unfortunately, The Un-Releases is hard to listen to because of the fact nothing connects these 33 tracks. Most tracks are about two minutes long, and these sort snippets of sound don't provide much time for things to develop. While this also has the reverse effect -- things don't go on too long -- listeners who try to keep up with the constant changes will get tired easily. Chicks on Speed shows restraint in the length of their songs, but The Un-Releases still feels overdone to sit through all at once.

Chicks on Speed are, though, fascinatingly cool and push the boundaries of music in fun directions. The Un-Releases is a bit too long, but you'll learn to value every moment.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.





The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.


'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.


1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.


'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.


The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.


Mary Halvorson Creates Cacophony to Aestheticize on 'Artlessly Falling'

Mary Halvorson's Artlessly Falling is a challenging album with tracks comprised of improvisational fragments more than based on compositional theory. Halvorson uses the various elements to aestheticize the confusing world around her.


15 Overlooked and Underrated Albums of the 1990s

With every "Best of the '90s" retrospective comes a predictable list of entries. Here are 15 albums that are often overlooked as worthy of placing in these lists, and are too often underrated as some of the best records from the decade.


'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.


20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.


Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.


The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.


Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).


Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.


Aalok Bala Revels in Nature and Contradiction on EP 'Sacred Mirror'

Electronic musician Aalok Bala knows the night is not a simple mirror, "silver and exact"; it phases and echoes back, alive, sacred.


Clipping Take a Stab at Horrorcore with the Fiery 'Visions of Bodies Being Burned'

Clipping's latest album, Visions of Bodies Being Burned, is a terrifying, razor-sharp sequel to their previous ode to the horror film genre.


Call Super's New LP Is a Digital Biosphere of Insectoid and Otherworldly Sounds

Call Super's Every Mouth Teeth Missing is like its own digital biosphere, rife with the sounds of the forest and the sounds of the studio alike.


Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.


15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.