CD Review: The Superions

The Superions (Happy Happy Birthday to Me)

The B-52s are very much alive and kicking. But when time allows, Fred Schneider also has a side project called the Superions. It's basically Schneider doing nutty narrative spoken-word routines on top of samples and synths. Kitschy subjects include outer-space seductresses, supermarket shoplifting and tropical hedonism. A full-length Superions album and a Halloween tie-in release are both scheduled for later this year. Meanwhile, this seven-track EP introduces the group's first three songs and adds four alternate versions remixed by other artists. It also avoids the pitfalls of most remix discs — the remixers add significant dimension and perspective to the band's already strong tunes. Only the unimaginative Marshmallow Coast version of "Totally Nude Island" falls prey to predictable remix formulas, strung along generic electro-beats. A more daring twist on that song by the Lolligags adds new female vocals and melody lines, resulting in a listener-friendly, catchy techno-pop treat. In fact, most of the alternate versions are so interesting that the Superions should consider these sorts of collaborations an ongoing component of the band's creative process. Michael David Toth

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