THE SEX ORGANS – I Hate Underpants EP

Okay. On the surface, this looks absolutely terrible. The Sex Organs are a duo who claim to be from outer space and dress up as…sex organs. They play squarely into the hands of novelty and spend most of their time being vulgar. There are at least three dozen reasons why their schtick just shouldn’t work. However, looking beyond beneath the crassness, buried somewhere beneath the shock value, you’ll find a raw as hell garage rock band that are actually worth listening to.

Their debut album, 2017’s ‘Intergalactic Sex Tourists’ presented the duo tearing through eleven songs in under half an hour, and although not for the easily offended, it actually offered some great, no-frills arrangements. Between the massive dirty blues of ‘Fuck Off’, the ragged Detroit Cobras homage ‘Drowning’ and the stomping Cramps-lite ‘Outer Space’, there seemed to be more than enough evidence that the Organs could whip up a musical storm. So much so, in fact, you’d sort of wish they’d dispense with the crude novelty aspects of their act.

Their 2021 EP ‘I Hate Underpants’ (yes, really) follows in a similar vein, but with the distortion cranked up even more than before. The titular track finds the duo in an especially high octane mood. A simple riff tears through some tried and tested garage punk fuzz, with the chords coming at absolutely breakneck speed. It’s as if experiencing The Cramps channelling OFF! while ruminating on the kind of lyric that even Bloodhound Gang’s Jimmy Pop Ali would consider too low brow. Allegedly underpants are “full of shit”, “never fit”, are “itchy stuff” and leave the wearer “feeling stuck”. It might all be fairly intolerable if not for some great music in hand, but a superb level of distortion lends extra interest to the vocal, which set against an equally distorted guitar, just about conjures some of the most intense garage sounds this side of The Sonics.

On the flip, there’s an even more “not safe for work” track, courtesy of ‘Where Is My Dildo’ – the cautionary tale of a sex toy that may or may not have been stolen by a dog. As before, you’re better off not spending too much time being distracted by a crass lyric, especially since the music is more than solid for the style. A little slower, here, The Organs show a knack for recycling old Chuck Berry riffs, subjecting them to mangled distortion and some 70s sci-fi sounding keys. It’s an interesting twist on the early 80s fascinations with a rockabilly past and the female vocal sounds especially cool throughout. An extended instrumental break finds the multi-layered guitars trading in the Chuck Berry mood for a bit of Duane Eddy twang – something else that seems a natural fit for the duo. If anything sticks, though, it’ll be hearing an accented voice shouting the title over an over to a tune that sounds frighteningly like it could morph into Sha Na Na’s ‘Born To Hand Jive’ at any second. In under three minutes, The Sex Organs drag garage punk to new depths of crudeness, but if you enjoy the musical style, it’s still worth a listen.

These songs don’t always hint at the musical variety of the full length release; it’s more of a hit ‘n’ run, riff-heavy affair, but it confirms the duo’s commitment to intergalactic, sex-punk shenanigans. If you loved them before, you’ll certainly continue to do so. …And if you’ve not yet had the pleasure – if that’s the most appropriate word – this is a good a place to dip in.

March 2021