Wednesday 15 October 2014

Review: This Sect – 'Shake The Curse'

'Shake The Curse'

Norwegian post-punk sextet This Sect have a fetish for the UK's post-punk and new wave scenes of the late 70s and early 80s. So much so that you'd be forgiven for thinking that they were a veteran UK act. The spiky jangle of the guitars coupled with the relentless bass throb provides the album with a basic skeletal structure through which vocalist Gøran Karlsvik channels the young punkier style Robert Smith fostered on 'Three Imaginary Boys', while synth player Are Bøhm adds light textures akin to Killing Joke at the most pop-friendly.

The end result of the album's simple but effective sonic formula is one that visibly wears its influences of its chest, but is executed in a fresh and modern style that stands up well against acts such as Interpol and Broken Links. Songs such as 'Book Burner', 'Detox The Soul', 'Party Like It's 1939', 'Calligraphy With A Brick', 'We Got Love' and 'Heritage Crown' have the dark and dangerous edge that makes good pop-infused rock much more gratifying to listen to. The passionate performance captured on the album gives the songs a palpable energy that immediately makes you want to catch the band live.

In terms of production the album is unmistakably modern. For all of its homage to everything post-punk and new wave, this is an album that has all the spit and polish you'd expect from an album in 2014. For a band with a fairly straightforward sound the song writing is deep and complex and this really comes across in particular with the interplay of the guitars, vocals and synths as the vie for supremacy in the mix.

This may be a release that will pass a few people by, but should fans of post-punk seek This Sect out, 'Shake The Curse' wont disappoint. It's a misanthropic and mischievous little album that makes great use of catchy melodies and passionate performance. Hopefully the band will follow this up soon with something that really pushes their obvious chemistry as a song writing unit.   

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