Playing with a Different Sex – Au Pairs (1981)

“Pointed, biting and sharp without collapsing into either heavy-handed sloganeering or vitriolic gnashing; the sexual and gender disparity and displeasure that form the back-bone of Playing with a Different Sex’ intention are as dexterous as they are striking. Faced with both a lack of recognition during their tenure, and the fact that these lyrics are as depressively on-topic today as they were in 1981, the LP becomes a sort of self-enclosed watershed, an intimate catharsis for a woman made as infuriated, discouraged and tired as a being can get. Most every erotic and political aspect that plagues modern co-existence gets a nod here – open relationships forged under false pretenses, erotic sojourners posing as prime fetishists, domestic abuse, emotional manipulation, the cult of dieting, sex turned into little more than another suburban chore and on and on, all of which reaches a boiling point on the unflinching and jagged ‘Armagh,’ with the lead singer Lesley Woods chanting ‘We don’t torture!’ as she dives headlong into the rumours of rape and debasement that swirled around Northern Irish political women’s prisons, an issue raised and re-raised that ultimately gained no worldwide exposure. The track, made insidiously catchy by an elastic bass-line that flings itself around searing guitar salvos is a shuddering marvel, earworm writing and grimly meaningful subject matter pulsing away in obscene apposition. …”
Sputnik Music
W – Playing with a Different Sex
YouTube: Set Up – OGWT (Live), Come Again
YouTube: Playing with a Different Sex (Full Vinyl)


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