Merril Beth Nisker, who is known to the world as Peaches, does not seem to have her heart set on understatement on “Rub”, her first record after a break of six years. It is already during the first track “Close Up” that Kim Gordon is at her side, as her very own Chuck D, as she points out, demanding that the listener move closer. And yeah, this very song is indeed quite reminiscent of the collaboration “Kool Thing” between Sonic Youth and Public Enemy.
Right after that, the title track of the album pretty much constitutes the work that is most typical of Peaches. How about a little taste of that? – “Feel free, come with me / Come with me, peachy / This chick’s dick is in my mouth”.
Peaches apparently does not doubt that her characteristic style has become obsolete in 2015. She does not seem to have any reason to do so anyways. When asked about it in an interview she remarks that her minimalist and straight-forward approach is reflected in contemporary sounds like trap music and that the current zeitgeist is also essential to her lyrics.
Peaches, who had only recently brought her own life to the stage of the “Hebbel am Ufer”-theatre in Berlin with the play “Peaches Christ Superstar” and who had subsequently also adapted said play for the screen as “Peaches does herself”, now makes a stunning comeback as a musician with her new album “Rub”. While her last effort “I Feel Cream” came across as a little uninspired, as if the protagonist herself was tired of the excessive hedonistic infomercial she was propagating relentlessly, this time around what she has to say seems authentic. It is safe to say that essential to this, is her coming to terms with herself again after going through a tough break-up which is openly dealt with on the album in songs like “Free Drink Ticket” and “Dumb Fuck”. Above all “Free Drink Ticket” is quite intense, considering the lyrics alone: “You were shitting on me / How could I not smell it / Fuck you / … I’m in so much fucking pain right now / I want you to feel it / I wanna rip you apart with my bare hands / I wanna crush your bones / I want to cut you”.
“Rub” was co-produced by Vice Cooler in Peaches’ new home town of Los Angeles – another influence that one might be prone to reading into the album. Peaches and Vice Cooler have succeeded in bringing together different sound aesthetics like trap music, electronic music and hiphop and sublimely blending them into one mix so that “Rub” conveys Peaches’ personal history and yet remains completely modern. Their collaboration works out that well since they both share a rock’n’roll and post punk background, but are at the same time into electronic sounds and hip hop; and they are both at an age where ego does not weigh into the shared process of creation. “Rub” is a product created by two friends who get along well, Peaches explains – and you can hear that very clearly.
(translation by Tanita Sauf)