So Sexual – Transient Scenes (EP) (Bleeding Gold Records)

album art

Having created a buzz amongst their local scene on shows with the likes of Death Masks, The Shondes, British Sea Power and Outfit, Liverpool post-punk quartet, So Sexual are readying the release of their debut EP ‘Transient Scenes’.

The upcoming EP follows the band’s brilliant debut single, “This Is Where The Story Ends” with b-side “Santa Carla” (read our review) from earlier this year. Equal parts goth and post-punk but with pop sensibilities, the single showcased a sound not unlike that of White Lies, taking influence from first wave bands such as Joy Division and Sheffield’s Artery.

The EP opens with “Dear Sweetheart” and immediately sets the tone, sending the listener hurtling back to the early 80’s. With its dark, new-wave meets post-punk sound “Dear Sweetheart” is a melodic, vocal-driven pop song bolstered together by bass and vintage 80’s synths, most reminiscent of the London post-punk act, Torches (read our review of their brilliant “Someone Needs A Ritual” single from last year). A brilliant start to the EP.

“Slow”, which we reviewed earlier in the month (read our review), follows next. The first thing you’ll notice is the funk inflected bass line which drives the song in a similar way that say, Peter Hook’s bass drove Joy Division’s “Atmosphere”. A layer of warm synths sit atop of the mix, while Peter’s Ian Curtis meets Tony Hadley vocal provides the song’s main melody.  All in all, “Slow” calls to mind Spandau Ballet circa ‘Journeys To Glory‘ both sonically and vocally.

On the flip-side we have “A Place Unknown” and “People Talk”, both of which darker, moodier and less dynamic than their counterparts.

“A Place Unknown” is the least remarkable of the four songs; a mid-paced track with a promising beginning thanks to its vocal hook, but ultimately the song never quite finds its stride.

The synth melody that characterises the solid, Joy Division-inspired “People Talk” brings with it a sense of melancholy and another wave of nostalgia. When the vocal delivers the line “people talk, people talking all around us…”, you’d be forgiven if you thought it was 1983 all over again. The final 3 minutes sees the band lock into an dark, instrumental groove before fading out.

As we mentioned when reviewing the band’s single, some of the playing is a little loose here and there, particularly during the last two tracks. But those “warts” don’t necessarily let the recordings down and certainly in the case of punk and post-punk music so-called perfection is not as important as mood and energy.

A promising debut,’Transient Scenes’ will be released through Bleeding Gold Records on 30 September, 2013 and will be available both digitally and on double gatefold 7″clear vinyl with black & gold splatter.

Watch the video for “Slow” below: