This week’s Unknown Pleasures is a heady concoction of arena-ready London alt-rock, swaggering Swedish grit-pop and manic Californian house, Getintothis’ Patrick Clarke on the week’s hidden gems.
Theatrics and style are streams hard to cross, the majority of those with more operatic leanings having a tendency to simply overdo it, those striving for the latter often ebbing toward a fawning aesthetic that’s bland in substance.
So step forward Wulf, a London three-piece towing the perfect line. New outing Fire opens with the most grandiose of authoritative keys, but before hurtling wayward towards self-indulgence they reel it in to a mellow, effortlessly collected vocal, affirming a sense of compelling determination to settle us in for a sumptuous set of resolute highs and lows. It’s passionate without extravagance, and modish without losing any modesty. An excellent outing.
Gothenburg duo Pale Honey – Tuva Lodmark and Nelly Daltrey – boast a more straightforward swagger, and though Fish is in general an underproduced outing that’s a minimalism that operates firmly their favour.
A swaggering lead vocal opens over an affacing descent of muted guitars which, though they’ve a certain snarl of their own are only the appetiser for an for an incendiary burst of gristly garage riffs which brim with a scuzzy sneer as the vocals soar to an urgent low growl. Ragged,certainly, but there’s enough character here to put any back-catalogue to shame.
California’s Taylor Lawhon, under moniker Suede James, has an agression of his own in the twisted, psychopathic house of Bedroom, the producers debut single which appeared on Monday (November 3).
An opening of buzzing electronics is business as usual, but as a lurching march of extremist synths set fire to themselves at just under at minute it’s clear this is anything but your standard warehouse fare.
It’s a lunatic tone, one that only intensifies as it borders a manic final third of squalling, unstable high keys. According to his friends it’s “like walking down the runway with a machete” – an analogy this writer can’t top.