Release Date: Aug 10, 2018
Record label: N/A
The Scissor Sisters frontman parties the pain away on one of this year's most welcome and infectious comeback albums Only Jake Shears could write a song like ‘Big Bushy Mustache’, a glitzy ’70s rock grind with a Josh Homme cameo in the video and a playful pro-facial hair message: “You got what you need to set your follicles free!” It’s a welcome reminder of the alpha-camp swagger Shears brought to the charts as frontman of Scissor Sisters. 14 years after releasing their enormously successful debut album, they’re still the only band named after slang for a lesbian sex position to have gone nine-times platinum in the UK. Shears’ solo debut probably shares more sonic DNA with that first Scissors album than follow-up efforts like 2010’s deliciously hedonistic ‘Night Work’ or 2012’s contemporary pop-leaning ‘Magic Hour’.
In his existential 1963 novel City of Night, which follows a male sex worker hustling his way across America after dark, John Rechy maps out the four waves of revelers drawn to New Orleans for Mardi Gras: First come the hustlers and their "lean young faces… with maybe guitars and patched bags if any," hitchhiking or via Greyhound. Next, the "restless queens" who don drag to "challenge--and, Maybe, for an instant, be acknowledged by--the despising, arrogant, apathetic world that produced them and exiled them. " After them, the deluge of "tired richmen, the tired richwomen… and the other Young men and women--equally curious but not as defiant.
Arriving just a few months after his memoir, Boys Keep Swinging, Jake Shears' self-titled solo debut album paints a picture of his post-Scissor Sisters life that's just as vivid as his book's stories of New York's subversive nightlife and queer culture in the 2000s. Jake Shears isn't just a continuation of that band's music, however. After a devastating 2015 breakup with director Chris Moukarbel, Shears moved to New Orleans, where Allen Toussaint's memorial service provided the catalyst for his creative rebirth.