Review Summary: Horny white boys never had it so good.
The Sex EP, as brazenly demonstrated by its succinct title, is a project in which your personal enjoyment is entirely predicated on your ability to switch off your immaturity inhibitors and cast yourself into a world of endless Adam Sandler filmography reruns and Revenge of the Nerds sequels where the gang takes a consent 101 class. This aggressively sexaholic fantasy world plays out like the most ridiculous self-insert isekai romance, ending up working almost as a parody of the ‘straight white man at liberal arts college desperate to get his dick wet but not wanting to be seen as creepy’ trope, in that any and all sex appeal is buried under a veneer of ironic sex positivity.
And you know what? It kinda works. Certainly as an ode to the indie dirtbag/sleaze movement that has been retconned into existence in the last couple of years it captures the inherent unsexiness sold as alternative charm, and does well to update and repackage it with faint but welcome allusions to themes of body positivity, as demonstrated by the viral success of Girls
in the latter half of 2022, in which the animalistic brains behind the project Harrison Patrick Smith describes which kinds of girls he likes (spoilers: it’s all of them).
Outside of these lyrical themes, what you get musically across these four tracks is in keeping with the mild resurgence of the mid-2000s electroclash scene as of late - bold and in your face electropop with a mechanical edge that feels equally at home within the sweaty walls of a grungy basement indie club as it does a hipster college party, complete with singer who doesn’t sound like they can really sing so they slightly shout in a monotone delivery packaged as false confidence.
Ironically for a project named The Dare, perhaps where The Sex EP slightly falters is in playing it too safe, failing to add much to the formula that was pioneered two decades ago by artists like Peaches, who did a very similar schtick both weirder and better. But as an unserious and unflattering yet nonetheless spirited encapsulation of a scene perhaps unfairly overlooked by critics during its brief time in the limelight, and filtered through a modern post-ironic lens, there’s undeniably something there to latch on to. Just maybe don’t try to think about it too much.