With tongue firmly planted in cheek Byronic Sex & Exile crawl out of the aristocratic netherworld of trad goth to drag you back to their dilapidated opium den on a (dark) wave of steady mechanical beats, old school guitars, synths and melancholic vocals.
'Crimes Of Passion' is an EP dripping in nods to old school goth acts such as Dead Can Dance, Gene Loves Jezebel, Flesh For Lulu, Rose Of Avalanche, Rosetta Stone, Children On Stun and Love Like Blood. The ever present drum machine beats, cheesy but atmospheric synths, and jagged post-punk guitar lines root the songs in the 80s peak of the gothic rock movement while the clear production and self-aware irony running throughout 'Crimes Of Passion', 'Cruel Beauty', 'Fausthaus', and 'Leviathan' gives it 21st century hindsight.
Despite it's tongue-in-cheek approach the music contained within the EP is still pretty damn good. Not a parody of gothic rock but a loving and knowing homage. In fact if you rewound the clock 25 years a song from this EP would easily have found its way onto any contemporary gothic compilation album. It is music that has been done lovingly and more importantly it has been done very well.
All the sounds are right for that classic coming together of sounds that makes this unmistakably trad goth. But at the same time it is mixed and produced to a digital standard which gives it fresher and less rough sound than many of those classic acts produced in their heyday.
'Crimes Of Passion' is a fine exercise in old school gothic rock that can't quite hide its knowing smile. It's the kind of work that if you were approached by a film maker to provide for a soundtrack about the 80s then this is what you would give them. Decadent, melancholic, classic goth.