Über Glass Candy
Mike Simonetti's Italians Do It Better label could probably only have come from New Jersey, where tangled roots run deep: what else could explain how a former hardcore kid (and the titan of the Troubleman label) ditches ripped denim for disco spangles? But I.D.I.B. isn't about guys in silk shirts: the Italians in question are Italo-disco's hipster icons. Stranger still, then, that the label finds its best expression in Portland, Ore.'s Glass Candy. Fronted by the cool-hearted Ida No and featuring the production of Chromatics' Johnny Jewel, Glass Candy make severity sound impossibly sexy. Drawing from Grace Jones, Giorgio Moroder and Blondie, their chugging arpeggios and machine rhythms -- fleshed out with just a touch of post-punk menace -- sound like they have ice water for blood. Which, every now and then, is the most refreshing thing in the world. With cold, calculated grace, they put the "vamp" back into vampires.