Pleasure Void

Up Your Ass (self-released)

Taken from a show broadcast January 13 on WRUW-FM, Up Your Ass is the first live album from Pleasure Void, a band with a live show driven by the poses of its vinyl-clad lead singer, Lo, a self-described bad girl who's actually a practicing dominatrix when she's not performing onstage. While the theatrical nature of the shows doesn't come across on this live recording (a DVD would suit the band best in this case), the recording quality of Up Your Ass is good enough to make it a faithful representation of its concerts, which can be alluring affairs, depending on how far the band pushes things.

While the sexually explicit material is often its most interesting stuff, the band sometimes tries too hard to emphasize that side of its personality. The song "Please Come," for example, isn't as seductive as its title might suggest. With Lo doing her best Siouxsie Sioux imitation, she beckons, "Can I coooome? Please coooome. Come on. Come on," but both the moaning and the stop-and-go melody are simply too exaggerated to be effective. The same goes for "Albuquerque," a song that starts with a spoken-word interlude and segues into a feverish chant about an erotic experience in the desert. The band is better on the infectious "Prisoner of Pleasure," the Patti Smith-inspired rocker "Experimental Phair," and the lurching, Gang of Four-like "Sex Is a Four Letter Word" -- all of which suggest that, with the right combination of hooks, sensuality, and raw power, Pleasure Void will get more press for its musical dexterity than for partying with like-minded rock stars such as Nashville Pussy and Gwar.