Original Sin, February 2003
Can your lady do the bossa nova? Have you ever been noticed in the kitchen
while dancing with a pineapple on your head? All questions I can ask
to lead you to the genre these New Yorkers are making...cocktail music
indeed! Oh I remember when five years ago people suddenly bought records
that therefore only could be found at the fleamarket (they even released
soundtracks from obscure pornomovies) and now five years later it's
back to the underground and Mike Flowers Pops won't even be recognised
when he would walk on street, despite having a huge number one hit!
But you see, it's still made...the crazy exotic tunes from Henry Mancini
and James Last are still performed.... Cocktail Angst are from origin
jazzmusicians but with the arrival of the killing diva Toby Williams
they play the mixture from jazz, samba, muzak, bossa nova and 60's plastic
bubblegumpop. Is it good? It's irresistible in fact, but of course due
to the different context of times it's more kind of funny rather than
hip....the times they are a-changing sang old Bob and for once he was
right.... But lovely album! -
McKibbin, Suite 101.com's Choice
Cuts, Feb. 2002
"The Scoop: Five jazz musicians who turn the clock backward with
songs about circuses, sex and sleaze. Wanna samba? Wanna tango? Come
on in. ...exceptional talents. Their live show must be a ball. Highlight
Track: Pineapples is inescapable and irresistible. The music
is of a different era. The lyrics are of a different world."
Frankie Sumatra's "Vegas
Hitlist", Edinburgh, Scotland
"...Think of Peggy Lee at her most world weary and exotic, add
a touch of
psychedelia, mordant wit and crank the urbane sophistication level up
to the max. ...the deliciously barbed lyrics give the tunes an eerie
Alex Teitz, Top 20 Modern Swing/Lounge Acts on Vegas Hit Parade Femmusic.com's
top 5 bands of 2001
Angst is far from what one would expect. They are
Tom Beckham on vibraphones (sic), Boris on cocktail drum, Jon Dryden
on piano, Tim Luntzel on bass, and Toby Williams on vocals. It would
be easy if that were just all. Cocktail Angst is a big band: one part
cabaret, one part Rat Pack, one part Dennis Leary, and many more parts
to name. Their lyrics are sharp and imaginative. Their songs coax the
listener in before the zinger. Notable examples include "Last Tango
in Vegas", "Samba de Angst" and "Kamasutra"
Rosenberg, Atomic Magazine, Winter 2001
"The Opening track to Our Big Top Parade
(Cocktail Angst Consortium), the second CD by New York band Cocktail
Angst, so vividly captures the kind of creepy psychedelic lounge of
the '60s that the average listener would never guess it's a new release.
The remaining 12 tracks, mostly originals penned by pianist Jon Dryden
and singer Toby Williams, maintain the sam authentic sound accompanied
by deliciously kooky lyrics. On "Pineapples" Williams entones,
When your husband does your laundry/ and your whites all come back
brown/ When you want to be alone/ but your in-laws are in town/ Don't
eat a pint of icecream/it will only give you guilt/ Just eat a big old
pineapple/ so you can stay well-built."
particularly delightful songs include "Samba de Angst," "Mindless,"
"Last Tango in Vegas," and "Bates Motel." Most of
the musicians probably weren't yet born when the style of music they
play first came into fashion, but they capture the very essence of lounge
as if they were posessed by Mancini. Even if you have no taste for musical
innovation and can't appreciate the perky mambos, sambas and
exotica on this CD, you will flip for the lyrics. If not you're
too humorless to be reading ATOMIC."
Friend, Cool And Strange Music! Magazine, March 2001
"True to their name, Cocktail Angst delivers songs teeming
with emotional anguish, unpleasant societal changes and plain old lust
served up cocktail lounge style. For example, "Last Tango In Vegas"
has the group lamenting the cleaning up of Sin City, while "Ecstasy"
has a convict (or mental patient) seducing her guard to possibly fatal
"Some of the
songs offered here would be downright disturbing if not for the band's
light touch and singer Toby Williams' soft, ethereal voice. Her delivery
of the line "I'll take your gun and kill you in a fit of ecstasy,"
doesn't sound nearly as unpleasant as it should."
"Not every track on the CD revolves around such dark subject matter,
but those are the songs you'll remember after the music stops. Therefore
it is ultimately one's tase for the unusual that will decide if this
is a CD for you. I think it's safe to say since you're reading a magazine
called Cool And Strange Music! you've probably already added this CD
to your must-purchase list."
Fetterman, In Hi-Fi
"I saw Cocktail Angst perform at the Fez....musicianship was top
notch. The chanteuse stage presence was sultry. Their style was the
closest to true exotica I've experienced in NYC. I enthusiastically
recommend checking them out."
Huey, All-Music Guide
"Capitalizing on the ironic detachment that makes it possible
for many '90's hipsters to enjoy lounge and exotica, New York's Cocktail
Angst offers a humorous, wide-ranging hybrid of swing, jazz, Latin,
and pseudo-worldbeat styles on their self-titled debut. Highlights tend
to be the tracks led by the group's female vocalist, Toby Williams."
things people are saying.... from Amazon.com:
Cabaret done right!, January 28, 1999 Reviewer: A music fan
from New York City "What a cool band! First rate musicians with
extremely witty lyrics and a great performance style. It's so nice to
hear a 'retro' flavored band with chops who are playing exciting music
without playing all swing. I have this CD in my permanent rotation at
home and especially like 'Muy Loco Psycho Mambo', 'Red Wagon' and the
devilishly demented 'Ecstatically Mine.' Get it! It will make you happy.
and exciting, thrilling and inviting, February 4, 1999 Reviewer:
A music fan from San Francisco "I recently saw these guys at Windows
on the World in NYC, and I've gotta tell anyone reading this message,
they simply brought down the house. The CD is impressive as well. It's
unlike anything you've ever heard before - a fun-filled blend of exotica,
jazz, Latin and more. Each song on the record is quite unique, as is
every member of the band. I highly recommend this one."--5 stars
Class!, October 15, 1999 Reviewer: A music fan from Southern
California "What a fantastic CD! The most unique blend of jazz,
cabaret and latin that I have EVER heard. And the singer's voice is
truly amazing! A must have for dinner parties! I played it at mine and
people were asking right and left who the band was?!"
the smokey wall original uptown kinda sound, January 26,
1999 Reviewer: A music fan from eastcoast, USA. "These guys are
coool. The music is uncompromising and the style is original, dark,
and amusing. This band is a cool cabaret, nightclub act with sleek jazz
vocals and subdued smokey style. The lyrics are off the wall. These
guys are all veterans of the contemporary New York City Jazz scene and
this is a great venue for great talent have a great time."--4stars