What is Whatever It Takes? Are they a puppet project of Larry Tee, or a bona fide band synching live to their own pre-recorded tracks? I can't say which, but I can say that I like it, whatever it is.
The 8 song CD starts off with Surrender. Surrender is classic electroclash synth-pop, complete with disco ray gun sound. There are two tracks of vocals, one sung mechanically and melodically, one with an effect to make it sound like it is coming through a phone. My favorite part of the track is the end, which adds a Gary Numan feel to the cut. Surrender is an OK track that only hints at the joys to come.
Next is Ooh I Like It. Ooh I Like It is also featured on the Badd Inc. compilation on Mogul Electro. It is a playful track that uses exaggerated laughs and fun pop references such as 'my beeper goes off when you're around.' The track is a big flirt.
The Arthur Baker mix of Hold Me is W.I.T. with class. Hold Me, Touch Me is also the song on their 12inch. The 12inch has three Black Strobe mixes, a Patrick Pulsinger mix, and a Larry Tee Electroclash mix. The Arthur Baker mix is not on the 12inch. Hold Me is as melodic and just plain good as stuff by Donna Regina or Saint Etienne.
It Kills is my favorite cut on the CD. It is the most rebellious and wild, reminding me of the bands Joan Jett influenced, such as The Donnas or The Bobbyteens gone electro. There are sounds like explosions in the beginning that even make me think of Kiss shows. There is a 'aaaahh' that reminds me of the Iggy Pop song 'Funtime' from his 1977 record 'The Idiot.' It Kills has great lyrics (truly), great music, and kicking attitude. 'You're too cool, too cool for school; not too smart but you're way cute; meet me out at the corner bar, take me for a ride in your car, car, car.' The song ends with a vocal trade off of band names and pop culture references. It Kills is the perfect W.I.T. song - at least, the best they've released so far.
A cover of The Cars song 'Just what I Needed' comes next. It is fun fluff which W.I.T. pull off with the same charm that transvestites show when lip syncing to Grace Jones songs at clubs like Boston's Jacques.
Playboy is all swagger and attitude. In addition to the usual vocalist Larry Tee appears with vocoder on his voice.
The song 'Whatever It Takes' is a big swoon. Breathy vocals swathed in reverb caress the pulsing synth line. The song reminds me of Blondie a lot.
'Inside Out' reminds me so much of the Lori & The Chameleons song 'Touch.' I love both songs. The synth and vocal of both tracks are delightful.
W.I.T. are playing off a sound and vision as if Marilyn Monroe was alive and fronting a girl group styled synthpop band with two of her very pretty friends. And you know what? It works.