A genuinely triumphant arrival, the album features ten stunning tracks including forthcoming single Amber Hands
, that reel from glorious carnival-esque euphoria to a sound that occasionally flirts at melancholy and utter despair.
Again Into Eyes
was recorded in London with producers Ken and Jolyon Thomas, whose credits include Sigur Ros, M83, David Bowie and Psychic TV. The album standouts include Faith Unfolds
, Summon The Sound
, which featured on Mute’s recent exclusive Record Store Day vinyl release Vorwarts
and the utopian, future-disco monolith that is Whitechapel
. Indeed, the bands' individual listening habits in psychedelia, space-rock, avant-garde and ambient soundtracks collide to form a pop trip that neatly balances the innovative with the rapturously danceable to great effect.
Based in London, S.C.U.M exploded onto the music scene two years ago with the release of their debut single Visions Arise
. The single, together with their exciting and intense live shows, quickly grabbed the imagination of fans and critics alike. Since then they have toured extensively across the UK and Europe to a growing fanbase.
S.C.U.M. - or to give them their full originally-invented-by-would-be-Warhol-assassin Valerie-Solanas name, Society For Cutting Up Men: essentially a cheery manifesto about how all men are a bit rubbish, basically - hark back to the clattering industrial sounds of yore, managing to evade the ham-fisted attempts of lesser acts who've looked to the era for inspiration.
There is something over-archingly immense about how the band have transformed from the embryonic state of 'all talk and no trousers', and are now bursting into a thrilling declaration of 'actually, there's more than just trousers, there's hats too'. After initially arriving in 2008 as an act born from the Underage (festival, club nights etc) scene, and featuring a brother of a Horror and the son of an Add N to (X), they seemed a bit like a psychedelically incestuous art-rock EastEnders.
Comparisons with The Horrors are rife, mainly because of the connections and a similar outlook and sound. But then, we all thought we had the measure of Faris and company once, and now they've turned into the best band in Britain. And, really, there's no reason why S.C.U.M. shouldn't follow them.
Amazingly haired soundscapery and ominous and intriguing racket is S.C.U.M.'s stock in trade. Opener Faith Unfolds bowls about optimistically for a while, before swooning into a motorik glide, while the synthy washes of Amber Hands suggests there was a roaring trade going on for early Simple Minds albums around Hoxton at the start of this year. Thomas Cohen's voice fits perfectly, with a baritone full of foreboding and illicit promise. Requiem builds into a coalescent swarm of noise, while album closer Whitechapel moves gracefully with a touch of cosmic disco among its swathes of cello and mellotron, and then breaks into a slight canter.
With high-concept sounds and an ace sleeve, Again Into Eyes is a bold debut, and an extremely rewarding experience. Initial listens may paint it as a bit of a pretentious dirge, but dive into it and soon warmth and light flood in. There's a sense that S.C.U.M. are only just beginning, and the promise here suggests you should mark them for future greatness.
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