MERCURY MAD & Vibralux
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MERCURY MAD & Vibralux


Band Pop Rock


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The best kept secret in music



Mercury Rising
By Alan Scherstuhl
The fashion wars certainly aren’t over in Lawrence — a town that, despite a kernel of old soul centered on the university, is rapidly becoming Olathe West. Two bucks buy you the chance to join the fight for fabulousness when boy diva Mercury Mad (head glam queen in Vibralux) and spangly Lawrence DJ Gunther Kallman pilot their Generic-X Fashion Victims & Trash Dance Party right into the Eighth Street Taproom (901 New Hampshire). Pledged to make the world safe for art fags one dance-a-thon at a time, our hairless heroes promise to spin the best — and worst — grooves that queer clubland has to offer.
Our advice: Dress to distress. Mercury and Kallman are famous around town for their furs, tiger-striped pants and jaggy licks of hair that jut up off their shaved heads like Pebbles Flintstone’s ponytail. Those suitably dolled-up might walk off with prizes, which will go to both the most fab and the most hideous. No matter what you wear, expect taunts from the irrepressible Mercury. Unless you’re representing in your KU sweatshirt and ball cap, in which case you best just get back to fraternity hazing, which — let’s face it — is a thousand times more queer than this throwdown. Friday Feb 24th 2006 8th St. Taproom Lawrence, KS 66044

"The New Led Zeppelin!"

By Robert urban

VIBRALUX came all the way to our Emerald City from heartland Kansas - and when they were done slaying us no one in the house was in Kansas anymore!! Led by the stunning & iconoclastic rock tenorette MERCURY II (wearing pink crinoline petticoat, 6 inch high platform Frankenstein combat boots and sporting a sassy, gidget-like ponytail...), this ultra-ultra heavy rock band is, hands down, the new LED ZEPPELIN (with a slight transified costume nod to KISS). My god do these gurlz know their rock licks! By the time VIBRALUX closed their glam-inspired set with their maximum power-anthem "PLAY WITH BALLS" - the entire packed room was standing in ovation - an equal mix of heteros, gorgeous transgenders and queers raised their fists and whooped in unison. I predict big things for this band and can't wait for them to return to the Big Apple.

Stonewall Society music review by Robert Urban

produced by Urban Productions for the 2005 Fresh Fruit Festival

Saturday, July 16, 10pm to 2am - Bowery Poetry Club, NYC


"Best Live Act nomination 2004"

THE PITCH Music Showcase
Official Showcase Program.
Published: Thursday, Aug. 5th, 04

Vibralux knows how to put on a
show. Sporting women's clothing
and enough face paint to stock an
Avon convention, the stylish
Lawrence quartet often spends
hours preparing to take the stage.
(Bikini waxes are
time-consuming, after all.) But
when it wasn't terrifying the Fred
Phelps set, the Lawrence quartet
took time to issue Trans Mission,
a full-length effort with such
over-the-top glanthems as
"Fashionista" and "Space Fags." - The Pitch

"Best Drag Show"

Best of Kansas City
Arts & Entertainment
Best Drag Show

Four sullen dudes wearing jeans and T-shirts and playing rock music can be a real drag. Vibralux knows this. That's why the Lawrence quartet concocted a splashy and trashy live show that breathed fire onto the local scene. With its pancake makeup, platform boots, feather boas, black-mesh stockings and flame-throwing antics, the gender-bending 'Luxers are not your father's drag band. Vibralux's horror-picture rock show -- a cock-ring circus that's equal parts carnival, concert and transvestite ball -- continues to evolve, with new elements brought in regularly. The self-described "eroto-rockers" are smart enough to mix things up musically, juxtaposing classic cuts from the New York Dolls, David Bowie and T-Rex with its own raucous material. Anything But Joey sings about girl roommates, but only Vibralux could pull off a tune like "Transvestite Boyfriend" without batting an eyelash. - The Pitch Best of Kansas City

"Trans-Mission album Review"

Originally published by The Pitch 2004-03-25
©2005 New Times, Inc. All rights reserved.

Trans-Mission (Independent)
By Robert Bishop

An alien walks among us. And he's not only exponentially more fabulous than the little green men we've been expecting; he can also rock a lot harder. His name is Mercury 2, and together with the rest of the glamtastic foursome Vibralux, the lead singer tunes in to his mascara-heavy forefathers on the band's debut album, Trans-Mission. Running '70s riffs through the gender blender and coating them with a retro-futuristic sheen, Vibralux dedicates "TVBF" to transvestite boyfriends. Elsewhere, "Space Girl Diet" exposes the supermodel cigarette-and-coffee regimen. Both numbers strut mightily, uncomfortable footwear and Atom Smashing's synth bass be damned, the latter only adding extraterrestrial appeal by locking into the groove of drummer M.A. Sheen. Flashing forward a decade, Lexxxis' and Mercury's guitars on "Your Man" bring back teased-out Sunset Strip sleaze in all its glory, and the pingpong keyboard hook of "Satan's Mouse" would be the envy of any new waver. As big as those songs are on bitchy attitude, though, "Arrival" positively shimmers, floating away on Mercury's longing pleas. Trans-Mission is all over the place in a good way, but it comes together through a focus on outer space, sex and trashy verve. And even though it might be pushing things to claim everybody's turning gay tonight, as Mercury does during the gothic drone of "Space Fags," there's plenty of cause for the uninitiated to become curious.
- The Pitch

"Rock Kansas Album Review"

Vibralux :: Trans Mission
(ind, 2004)
By JJ Duncan
RockKansas reviewer

After two years of the shock and awe Lawrence glam/drag band Vibralux has brought to the local music scene, the band has released an album full of loud rock music that will make boys proud to wear mascara again.

"Trans Mission" is a collection of high-octane glam rock with a feel that's straight from the '70s. The great thing is that the music sounds like it would come from a band that dresses in womens' clothing and gets crazy onstage. And at 17 tracks, it moves surprisingly quick and doesn't really have a dull spot.

The music gets started with a Kinks-esque guitar part on "Space Fags" that gives way to a high-energy rocker where vocalist Mercury 2 does some nice work in his upper register.

The feel of the album is very '70s glam with some Brian Eno-inspired ballads and some songs that would be at home on the soundtrack for "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." That's why it's so easy to think this album is just a clone of the music from that time period with very little personal artistic merit. That would be jumping to conclusions though.

These boys throw enough twists into the music, and the song writing is strong enough that they succeed in distinguishing themselves, and show that they truly understand the genre.

Not only that, but this is an album that will make the band's live show even more appealing because the songs are are just so catchy. By the third listen, I was singing right along with "Lighter" and "Space Girl Diet." I guarantee that anyone who gives this album some listening time will want to catch more of Vibralux's shows, just so they can sing along with and dance to these songs.

The album is fun for sure, but for those who wish to dig deeper, yes this album has some layers. The Mercury story-line is enough give some depth behind the characters you see onstage at the shows. That's why, for me, this album really succeeds on all levels. It's rare for me to give such a beaming review, but really Vibralux get's it all right on this album, and "Trans Mission" will be in my personal rotation for at least the next year.

The high point of the album comes with "Lighter" where Mercury 2 sings "You're gonna find I'm highly flammable when I'm under pressure / Squeeze on me and lover y'know I'm gonna get ya / Warning keep away from children, warning keep away from children." Follow that up with several tight little guitar solos, and you've got a glam ballad that would make David Bowie jealous.

Now hopefully this album gets some love from the local scene.


"Ladie's Men-Cd Release Party"

Ladie's Men
The Pitch, By Robert Bishop March 25, 2004
Originally published by The Pitch 2004-03-25
©2005 New Times, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ladies' Men
Lawrence's Vibralux uses a little glitter and a lot of rock to become queens of the new age.
By Robert Bishop

Cyndi Lauper was right, by god. Girls really do just wanna have fun. But what about the guys?
"We're sick and tired of people telling us not to have any fun," Mercury 2 declares from his perch onstage at the Bottleneck. "I want rock and roll! Now shout, 'Bitch!'"

The crowd obliges. Mercury very much appears to be having fun. He is seething wicked attitude beneath his pink wig. And since this is a special occasion -- the singer's band, Vibralux, is having a CD-release bash -- Mercury has come decked to the nines in a dress that any number of girls -- and likely a guy or two -- in the audience would die to look as good in.

The rest of the Lawrence quartet is similarly dolled up as they tear through trashy gems from the band's debut, Trans-Mission, a pretty-in-pink package of 17 glam-rock tributes and salutes to "Space Fags" and "Fashionista" queens. Thanks to fire codes, the band's trademark flamethrower phallus is sadly MIA, but bubble and fog machines ably stand in for Vibralux's usual burning sensation.

Even with subdued stage props, the fabulous foursome vamping at the Bottleneck seems light-years away from the moment when two kindred spirits sparked the idea to sprinkle themselves with a little Ziggy Stardust. Mercury, the man who would be a queen, was strumming his guitar on the street when the person fated to be rechristened Lexxxis (the band members declined to tell the Pitch their real names) stopped and asked if he could join in. He joined the band less than a week later.

Mercury had grown bored with indie rock and had started to envision a glamorous, knock-you-on-your-ass show telling the saga of a cross-dressing rock-and-roll alien. He explained this vision to Lexxxis, who, curiously, did not run for his life.

"I had to think about it for a day, because I already had this rock ego I wanted to maintain," Lexxxis says. "But this has turned out to be one of the most fun and exciting things I've ever said yes to. And I've said yes to a lot of stuff."

Synth bassist Atom Smashing was already on board, but when Vibralux's second drummer moved away (not before promising to stab anybody who stood in his way) before a scheduled show, a new recruit was needed immediately. Enter the future M.A. Sheen, who wasn't told about the makeup until after he agreed to fill in.

"It wasn't as draggy then. They tricked me into being a drag queen," M.A. Sheen says. "At first it was just theater makeup, more kabuki with white faces and big eyes. Then it moved into an androgynous thing, with full-on glitter."

The glam-rock look isn't as popular in Kansas as, say, overalls, which allows Vibralux to command attention with or without the flame-spewing cock.

The band's release party is a precursor to Neon, the Bottleneck's '80s dance party, and the audience's response is strong, even though some in the crowd clearly aren't expecting a guy in a pink wig to ask them, "Are you feeling pretty?" before boasting, "Not as fucking pretty as I feel now!"

A good portion of the crowd is, of course, gothed up to the hilt. Yet the band has no qualms about wielding its influence over any and all, including the initially dubious.

"We've had guys come up with an AC/DC shirt on and the mullet, with the Trans Am in the parking lot and maybe a NASCAR hat, and they're like, 'Dude, I don't know about how you're dressed, but you guys rock, and I'm never going to miss another show,'" Mercury says. "They get through about three shows, and they're just like, 'This is too gay for me,' and never come back."

Maybe understandably so. Pyrotechnics are unquestionably cool, but even when a venue will allow them, Vibralux's fireworks involve male genitalia of ego-shattering size. Glitter cannons and Barbie launchers are in the drawing-board stages, but Ken's ex still made an appearance at the Bottleneck, with Mercury hurling the "little bitches" into the crowd. It's compensation for earlier in the show, when the audience pelted Vibralux with cigarettes during "Chain Smoker."

Mercury is the ringleader of this lip-glossed circus, in control even when something goes awry. When his wig falls off, he nonchalantly picks it up, puts it back on and taunts, "Am I straight yet?"

But the sex, drag and rock and roll aren't just gimmicks.

"The rock and roll really has to come first," Mercury says. "The drag just goes with the rock and roll. We get so much flak from people saying, 'You're just in costume, blah blah blah.' They aren't really listening to what we're saying or what we're trying to do."

Of course this isn't the first time this sort of thing has been done. It just isn't done a whole lot around here.

"It can - The Pitch

"Resurrecting The Glitter Of Glam-Cover Story"

The Glitter Of Glam-Cover Story
Resurrecting The Glitter Of Glam

> Gender-bending ideals, sexual overtones, flamboyant stage shows and fire-breathing have this act heating up the scene. 2003
Story by Matt Bechtold
RockKansas writer

Gender-bending ideals, sexual overtones, over-the-top costuming and stage shows -- if you're thinking David Bowie, T-Rex, New York Dolls, Lou Reed, you're on the right track.

More at - Rock


Plastic Bitches EP Vol. 1 2002
Plastic Bitches EP Vol. 2 2002
"Pre-Release" EP 2003
Trans Mission 2004 [All 17 tracks available online send email for address.]
Army of Dolls 10 song album due out 2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


Drawing inspiration from the glam-glitter era of the early 1970's, and coupled with the showy rock styles from the 1980’s, MERQ puts a twist on the genre which may be called "Bitch - Rock". The short description is: Loud, bitchy Rock & Roll coupled with an interactive arena style stage show.