THE BASTARD FAIRIES are a band consisting of lead singer Yellow Thunder Woman and guitarist Robin Davey, with guest spots reserved for a banjo player. Yellow Thunder Woman is a Native American descendant of the Great Ponca Chief Standing Bear, an Indian princess, and member of the Yankton Sioux. Her heritage comes across in many of her interviews and statements, and the band dares to cut themselves out a niche in the music industry with their brutal honesty and musical commentary. The following is a review of their musical CD Memento Mori; the special edition version with 5 bonus tracks and a DVD.
The Bastard Fairies have a strong presence on the internet with their website and Myspace page and their music reflects this in its simplicity. However there are often complex message to be found in the songs.
The packaging of the CD is filled with artistic, yet revealing photos of Yellow Thunder Woman. She poses and shows off her ample breasts. The lyrics to the songs are indeed with the booklet which is well put together; aside from one typo I found.
One can download 12 of the CD’s tracks from The Bastard Fairies website for free at www.thebastardfairies.com. Loads of pictures and such to check out as well, and corresponding with that is of course their well put together Myspace page at www.myspace.com/thebastardfairies
Now I will preview each musical track and cover the material on the DVD.
1. The Greatest Love Song: This starts the album displaying the unique voice of Yellow Thunder Woman. Laced with fun wit and sarcasm, yet serious in delivery. The Greatest Love Song is a title as broad and generic as the theme it conquers involving a “perfect” world without conflict or individuality.
2. Apple Pie: As American as The Greatest Love Song, Apple Pie creates a personal portrait that once again utilizes the bare truth of Yellow Thunder woman’s voice and persona. Anyone who resented the possible sarcasm within the first song quickly gets this introspective anthem to create a little peace and understanding that they are listening to a Bastard Fairies CD, and what that means.
3. Habitual Inmate: What some groups would approach with comedy, Bastard Fairies brings a compelling melody. Listening to this song made me think of The EELS for just a moment. Good listen.
4. The Boy Next Door: Now comes the brutal confession of what love really is as the song documents someone sleeping around on someone else.
5. Ode to the Prostitute: Simple, or so it seems lyrically this track takes a more overdone approach to the background music. It may grow on your eventually as an “ode”, as the more haunting sounds of the songs seep through.
6. A Case Against Love: The message about love seems more clear and poetic in my opinion on this track. I enjoyed this song more than previous ones on the CD and would have liked it better as the opener.
7. We’re All Going to Hell: Voted the most fun and likely to get stuck in your head for sing-alongs.
8. A Venomous Tale: A reggae sort of vibe to switch things up, but once you have heard it you’ve heard it and it is forgettable.
9. Everyone Has a Secret: Art that you keep on the shelf and visit on rare occasions.
10. Maybe She Likes It: An ode to physical abuse that really doesn’t covering any interesting or new ground aside from the claim “maybe she likes it”, which is interesting enough just to get it thrown into a pile of similar songs already out there.
11. Guns and Dolls: The chorus is catchy and there is a place for this tune in music history, but not at the notable forefront.
12. Moribund: More of the same old sounds; is this album over yet?
13. Exoskeleton: The same old stuff until it reaches the chorus which is more uplifting for the ears to hear. However, it comes too late to keep my interest in the song, but I urge you to try.
14. A Heathens Lament: Lyrically this one will steal ones attention away from the generic sounds. Good for a listen.
15. Whatever: Another excellent song for getting stuck in your head and is one of the tunes I would use to define Bastard Fairies, or would think of when I think of them.
16. Memento Mori: Jingle jangle of a song; eh.
17. Ten Little Indians: Novelty, ever so creepy or tragic.
The DVD that comes with the CD is full of their music videos and some funny promotional clips. I was indeed entertained after a single watching of the DVD, but once again these same clips and videos can be found on the internet for free, and I had already seen most of them prior to getting the album.
In conclusion I think The Bastard Fairies album shows them off more like a novelty act meant for Internet fame and glory, but not a group breaking new grounds per-say. I say look the up and download the free songs you want and save your money. Quirky fun band, in limited doses.