Endless Heights 2015 EP Teach You How To Leave marked the band's transition towards a more melodic approach, forgoing the raw aggression found on their debut full-length, and while their follow-up album might not be as immediately wowing or in your face as said debut, it keeps its hand close to its chest so when it does throw its weight around, it makes that much more of an impact.
Vicious Pleasure is a melting pot of musical styles and influences that incredibly doesn't dilute the group's core sound. The sombre opener of 'Taste It' neatly segues into 'You Coward' that straddles the line between delicate and sharp-tongued, yet the opening seconds of 'Toxic' limelights some almost sludge metal intricacies, an unrelenting bass cleaving its way through the song's runtime. Comparatively, tracks like 'Goldleaf' and 'Shiver Down' harness more of a shoegaze and post-punk sound, both sporting a set of catchy hooks that frontman Joel Martorana belts out with the utmost conviction.
Instrumentally, the band sounds tighter than ever before and Martorana kicks his vocal game up another notch, littering the album with a bevvy of catchy choruses that are sure to become staples in the band's catalogue. The fittingly titled 'Paralyse' is a softer, almost numb ballad that segues into the plainly devastating 'Run' which peaks and valleys with filthy distorted guitars and soaring licks.
Vicious Pleasure could be seen as a delayed companion piece to 2013's New Bloom. Fiercely more intimate and decidedly more vulnerable, the Sydney five piece's sophomore parades its dark underbelly, and while fans who regard the bands previous full-length as gospel might find their musical pivot a touch jarring, Vicious Pleasure adds a whole other dynamic to the groups sound - one that will more than likely warrant more than a few listens.
Dre’s Top Three:
- You Coward