A Pospunk Classic from the Band that was in the Same Class with the Mekons and Gang of Four. Their Feistiness Came Thru Every Groove with Lyrics Dealing with the Conservative Times in the UK'S Thatcher Era and a Liberated Sexuality. The CD Issue Add Eight Tracks that Never Appeared on the Original Issue of the Album.
Review by John Dougan
Opening with the tongue-in-cheek "We're So Cool," the Au Pairs' debut record is a stunner, from Lesley Woods' scratchy guitar and declamatory vocals to lead guitarist Paul Foad's brittle soloing. This is an uncompromising, defiant record that asks no quarter; gender roles are turned upside down, hetero- and homosexual relationships put under a microscope, and theories about sex and sexuality turned upside down. Similarly, the tense political situation in Northern Ireland is harrowingly addressed in "Armagh," which details Tory-sanctioned torture and sexual abuse of wrongly imprisoned Irish women. An unfliching look at the world, Playing with a Different Sex is one of the great, and perhaps forgotten, post-punk records. The CD reissue on RPM adds eight significant bonus cuts from 1979-81 singles, which include different versions of tracks from the album and some songs which didn't make it onto the LP in any form.