Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Review: Partly Faithful - 'Lazarus Under Glass'

'Lazarus Under Glass' 

The only good thing that has come from the lamentable demise of Screaming Banshee Aircrew is that we've had to brilliant bands emerge from the ashes. Partly Faithful is one of the two and with their long-awaited full-length début, 'Lazarus Under Glass', they aim to put the “art” back into art rock.

Blending scathing post-punk with dark pop and shoegaze powered by an ever present grooving bass the band's sonic formula is a heady and infectious mix. Recalling the likes of Bauhaus, The Cure and Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds at their most sinister and innovative the band feel fresh and modern while proudly tracing a lineage back to their influences.

Ed Banshee's vitriolic vocals coupled with the vicious guitar lines from Anouska Haze give songs like 'Amen', 'Hatchet', 'Big Bang Medicine', 'Stop' and 'Obsession' and undeniably savage edge that is utterly compelling. While more retrained tracks like 'Underset', 'Skin' and the title track 'Lazarus Under Glass' give the album a more approachable side that plays up the band's ear for a strong melody and funky bass lines.

The album has a grittiness that works well, but doesn't take off any of the veneer of the band's collective talent. It's raw, savage and vitriolic. The vocals have heart and the guitars are in-your-face. But the mix never feels swamped by these strong elements. It harks back to albums like 'Mask' and 'Unknown Pleasures' but through the band's performance feels very much of the twenty-first century.

Partly Faithful have essentially crafted a lesson in what modern post-punk should be. It's arty, but not pretentious. Raw, but not sloppy. It's a very strong first step that does well to capitalise on the potential that shone from their first EPs. So the pretenders out there best take heed.

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