The Berlin-based duo at the core of Stereo Total certainly does its part on behalf of European unity. On Do the Bambi (Kill Rock Stars), Francoise Cactus and Brezel Goring once again assemble a cast of transnational noisemakers under the banner of chintzy, synth-ridden dance pop--the closest thing to a common language the continent can claim these days. Cactus plays the sensual French naif who's self-aware in a down-to-earth way; she spoofs performance-art provocation on "I Am Naked" with interjections like "Oh, shocking!" and conflates sex and food on "Hungry!" without getting crumbs in the sheets. I wouldn't sit still for some Williamsburg ironists intoning a predictable list of favorite actors and directors, but Cactus sings "Cinemania" with a playful flexibility that makes up for the tune's archness. Longtime fans claim to hear some ambitious stabs at professionalism on the album, but they're just being fussy; unless you've subsisted on a diet of half-assed garage-band confections for the past year, the cheap electronics, motorik-gone-garage-rock beats, and nuance-free guitar crunch all sound plenty amateurish. The duo's taste for faux decadence sometimes makes them sound creepy, but "Babystrich," sung in a ripe falsetto by Goring, is still catchier than any bit of synth-pop fluff about a 13-year-old dope addict deserves to be. And if morning-drive radio wasn't so xenophobic, "Vive le Week-End" would drop-kick Loverboy into the dustbin of history. Hawnay Troof and Les Georges Leningrad open. Thu 5/19, 9 PM, Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, 773-478-4408 or 866-468-3401, $12 in advance, $14 at the door, 18+.

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