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The Eyes Have It,
This review is from: Again Into Eyes (Audio CD)
S.C.U.M. are a superbly intense and moody bunch of boys from
Sarf East London whose debut album 'Again Into Eyes' is made of
the kind of stuff to make your hair curl and teeth tremble in
their sockets. This is a good thing! There is an arch seriousness
in the project which embraces the darker shadows of the eighties
but transforms them into something entirely relevant for these shaky
uncertain times. I can imagine them dressed in basic black playing for
all they are worth on a semi-lit stage in a subterranean cavern.
There is a sinister energy in their performances of these eleven
splendid inventions which I found curiously appealing. In Thomas
Cohen they have a wholly credible front man. Swathed in reverb,
he snarls and growls his way through these small epics like your
Mother's worst nightmare. The battenberg would almost certainly
melt into a pale pink and yellow puddle in the centre of the dining
room table if you brought him home to tea! Suburbia beware!!
Wayward reflections aside, the songs really are very well constructed.
Moody, unhinged and occasionally (witness the perfectly wonderful
'Paris') strangely affecting, these young gentlemen are mapping out
a territory all their own. There are shades of Brett Anderson evident
in Mr Cohen's voice which I found particularly enjoyable. The opening
track 'Faith Unfolds' is a song which Suede would have been proud to own.
The Psychedelic Furs, on their best form, also came to mind from time to
time in compositions like 'Amber Hands' and the delicious 'Whitechapel'.
The sepulchral thrash of 'Summon The Sound' and luminous 'Sentinel Bloom',
however, tips a hat to the gloomy interiority of Joy Division and lives
to see another day. 'Requiem' and the small but perfectly-formed 'Water'
are, in their own distinctive way, the icing on another kind of cake!
For my money the desolate soundscape of 'Cast Into Seasons' is the best of
the bunch. It grabbed me like a cougar by the throat and wouldn't let go!
One can only begin to imagine where the band will go from here. I am more
than persuaded by their talents and await developments with bated breath.