- Scarlet Soho »
- Vivid Records »
This I like.
I can’t think how to classify the music – basically rock with a hint of glam underneath it and drum machine effects. It’s the sound of a band who really know where they’re going and what they’re aiming for, and it’s incredibly assured and confident.
It’s a bleak, detached record; often coming close to sterile but there’s a constant emotion lurking beneath the surface of the songs, threatening to break through and adding a strong touch of darkness which gives the music an edge and keeps you engaged.
The guitars sound almost scientific, and with the regularity of the drum machine and the bleeping, whizzing noise effects the music borders on inhuman, while the vocals have a kind of paradoxical matter-of-fact emotion to them which counteracts that effect. Somehow Scarlet Soho achieve a mood which is involved and observational at one and the same time – a disinterested statement of extreme feeling. Which is a bugger to review accurately without becoming paranoid about sounding pretentious. But well worth the effort ‘cause this is a class record – Scarlet Soho never quite seemed to me to hit the impact of their live shows on record before, but this menacing, dispassionate single totally achieves it.
The stand-out track for me is probably first b-side, 'No Reception', for the variation and unpredictability of the tune and the sense of menace to it, plus there’s a glorious descending guitar at the end of it.
But all three tracks are quality – both the slightly taunting 'Disconnected' and the melancholy, angry irony of 'City Behaviour' have a clean coldness which I’d usually think sounded promising in review and then dislike on hearing - but Scarlet Soho have taken the sterility of so much modern life and used it as a biting musical weapon, and it’s spot on.