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Review: Obscure Pleasures – Origins (EP)

Obscure Pleasures have just released an audio snapshot of their darkwave efforts, check out what HTF thought of their debut here…

Artist: Obscure Pleasures
Release: Origins (EP)
Release Date: Out Now

Obscure Pleasures are a Birmingham-based trio that have been touring relentlessly with the likes of Fearless Vampire Killers, William Control, and Ashestoangels, all the while lashing good old British darkwave to their wrists with handcuffs, insisting that it comes out to play again.  ‘Origins’ is a compact collection of all their efforts so far, a dedicated soundtrack for debauchery that instantly conjures up images of illicit rendezvous and forbidden fruit. Opening track ‘My Serpentine’ pulses with synth nostalgic of the glory days of Gary Numan if he’d spent his days drowned in Jack Daniels in a cigarette-smoke haze, draped with burlesque dancers. It’s music to dance to (and other such energetic gyration, I’m sure).

Combined with the darkpop synth and vocals is a pounding indie rock sound obvious in ‘Death Pact Romance’ and ‘HATE’, two drastic changes of pace that form an aggressive core for the mini-album as the band move from sex, cigarettes and whiskey  for ‘A Short Stay In Switzerland’, a tender testament to the right for assisted suicide, drenched in bittersweet melodies and a real contrast to the rest of the album. The change in tone is a little shocking but the song has real substance and the band pull it off effortlessly – it’s refreshing to see there’s more to them than the rest of the album portrays. ‘Private Peep Show’ changes gear back to synth-laced dance rock, but doesn’t quite match the strong start ‘Origins’ launches into – it’s good, but not of the same caliber as the tracks before it. The band have certainly hit the stage feet first, but they’ve got a hell of a lot more they can deliver if they get the chance.

It’s a hypnotic breath of fresh air for the UK music scene, which is desperate for bands like this to take the spotlight – and Obscure Pleasures have gone for the throat, doing their part to revive a tired scene that has left its origins behind. This is a herald of a new, energetic wave of British music, and it’s definitely worth your support.

8/10

Reviewer: Laurence Stark

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