By Jim Schutze
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For a woman who spends much of her time rapping about sex, Canada-born Merrill Nisker, who performs as Peaches, doesn't seem all that concerned about having fun.
Take "Two Guys (For Every Girl)," a provocative cut from Peaches' latest CD, Impeach My Bush, in which she declares, "I wanna see you boys get down with each other/I wanna see you do your little nasty brother." Ask her if most women find dude-on-dude action to be as big of a turn-on as scissor sisters are for the typical man, and she responds with a terse rant about gender equality and patriarchal preconceptions.
"It's a power thing for a guy to have two girls," she declares. "Like, you're the man, and somehow they're doing it for you. So I'm trying to even the score by putting something else out there. And it should be out there. We're just so used to having the other side of that being accepted. What if we twist it around? Why does that sound strange? Why should it sound strange? Why should it be different? Well, it shouldn't be. It should be even. And if we say it more and do it more, then it should be the same."
Peaches focused on flesh throughout her 2000 debut, The Teaches of Peaches, which contained tunes such as "Fuck the Pain Away" and "Cum Undun." If anything, Fatherfucker, her 2003 followup, was even more self-consciously provocative from a lyrical standpoint, but musically, it came across as an electroclash retread. That's pretty much the case with Bush, too, despite contributions from the likes of Joan Jett, who guests on "You Love It," and Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme, heard on "Give'er." Its main appeal, then, are pronouncements such as the ones that turn up on "Fuck or Kill," which Peaches calls "my update on 'make love, not war.'" But lines such as "I'd rather fuck who I want to/Than kill who I'm told to"—not to mention alternating chants of "Impeach my bush" and "Impeach Bush"—don't make the disc "more political than any other album I've made," she insists. "It's just a more obvious time to pull it together. My music is based on questioning authority and power roles and getting away from fear, whether it's the fear that states put on you, or groups of people."
To put it another way, Peaches would be satisfied if her words motivated fans to vote—but she'd be just as appreciative if femmes who hear "Two Guys (For Every Girl)" broadened their erotic horizons. "You could go to a 14-year-old boy and he'd say, 'Yeah, two girls. That's what I want,'" she maintains, trotting out a Beavis and Butt-head voice for the occasion. "But he doesn't know that at all. He just saw it on a video or heard someone say it. So I'm hoping for the day when a 14-year-old girl says, 'Yeah, two guys. I need two guys.' If they're gonna learn by modeling, let's give them every option."
And if they actually have fun, well, more power to 'em.