What is it about the word "tonight" that sounds so right to boys? Does it have a secret gender affinity? When Erik Appelwick—a man you can spot somewhere in the frame of every Twin Cities music scene snapshot (record producer, former Hopeful, current Tapes 'N Tapes bassist)—croons "Why don't you stay with me tonight?" on the new Vicious Vicious album Parade, all the reasons a girl could usually list on two hands are suddenly lost to her tongue. The third release by this sweet-and-vicious side project, in which Appelwick seduces with wingmen Adrian Suarez (on bass) and Heath Henjum (on drums), makes no promises about what will happen when the sun rises and last night's glitter gets swept into the dustbin. Pop bubbles burst, but that's no reason not to blow them.
On Parade, guitar chords twinkle in the background, leaving organ melodies to provide the mellow glow that lights this party up. With shimmering chords and drumbeats that make for gentle shimmying, the songs coast by with a fluid groove that delivers on Appelwick's long-ago promise to mix hip-hop beats with "roller-skating music." The bass lines that pad along like cat's paws are funk, but declawed. And Appelwick sings with a shallow exhalation calibrated to breathing come-ons into might-be-willing ears. Except when he's singing baby. Baaaabyyyy is a lyric that, by FCC regulation, must be delivered in falsetto. Vicious Vicious might break hearts, but they're not breaking any federal rules.