Wednesday, January 21, 2015
So Sexual "Transient Scenes" on Bleeding Gold Records
Post punk can mean a lot of things. Wikipedia says it emerged parallel to punk and "is a more experimental and arty form of punk". To me including the word 'punk' feels the opposite to the cool, detached feel of post-punk. Instead of a nihilistic railing against the system, post punk feels like it works from within or at least with modern elements like synth to reflect a modern dystopian present because, let's face it, things are always going to be really fucked up. So Sexual from Liverpool are a four piece of solid post punk in the way I think post punk sounds like towering entire block public housing on an overcast day. I think they've since gone on to record as People//Talk one of the titles on this double single.
A-Side's "Dear Sweetheart" opens in that chorus guitar that is essential for this kind of stark, minimal atmosphere. A high synth melody plays over this bass line sounding riff and Peter comes in over with an expressive, skilled vocal. He can sing almost too well for this cold, defeated world. The drums have that tight, mechanical quality, never getting out of control especially when they switch to another time signature for this chorus and Peter starts laying out an even more impressive delivery about the loss of someone of course. Lots of time to explore this harsh cubist landscape like Pylon or The Embarrassment.
B-Side's "Slow" has that slow watery chorus guitar set the tempo which everyone doubles coming into this including a off center slap bass. Reminding me a lot of Turn on the Bright Lights Peter starts out more reserved and indifferent until this chorus draws everything together in that Interpol style. How much energy they can repeatedly create out this brief flash of melody keeps me coming back to this side, like the motion blur of lights in a dark tunnel, it's an elegant representation of that unfeeling modern life.
The C-Side (that's right) "A Place Unknown" has Peter starting right in against that quivering chorus for this to expand with synth again. Taking liberties with his own melody in this early verse they nail the chorus sections as if they build this dark catchy break for the rest of this level ride to be nailed to. That chorus is getting real dark with the cathedral sounding toms and snare in a 'hanging garden' style rhythm and I think they draw as much from that suicidal sound as they do from The Feelies. The D-Side "People Talk" has a quivering electric melody intro slow synth and Peter's vocal this time has a bit of that Depeche Mode feel, the almost crooning vibrato comes through in this chorus pulling it back for this blank verse. They really seem to be nailing that contrast in every song; holding everything back to sum up in the surrender of the chorus. Has a little bit of that post punk Smiths feel the Organ used to have and they explore distortion in this end piece letting go of the melody...getting arty.
Get this on splatter grey/black gatefold vinyl from Bleeding Gold Records.