If she hadn’t been stranded in the burbs on an island all these years, Diana Anaid might be the cover girl for self-made, heartwarming, gut-vomiting indie chicks. She is the palindromic Aussie girl who did the crooked splits in the air in that not-quite-award-winning, nearly-an-MTV-hit “I Go Off” in 2000: “I go owooioff/And if you don’t believe that/I’ll go off . . . ,” strum, ” . . . right here . . . ,” strum, ” . . . right now.”
With a guitar bigger than herself, she wears army shorts on the beaches of eastern Australia, and she was cooler than Ani from the beginning: her voice louder, guts redder, heart more Bangles than Gram Parsons. “I Go Off,” once blasted at interviewers who commented on how short she was and bouncers who strong-armed her at the door to her own shows, is more venomously produced on Beautiful Obscene—her third album, but first to hit the States.
Anaid’s voice, along with her image, have been layered and streaked since her second disc, I Don’t Think I’m Pregnant, which bit the dust immediately in her motherland. But from the knees up, she’s a metal girl. Beautiful Obscene is loaded with Pink-ishly athletic, personally political tracks. Really, it should be called I Don’t Need a Boyfriend—she sings that line so stealthily and, clearly, she doesn’t.