Mere Women — Old Life
(Tenzenmen 102TZM, 2012, DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2013-09-12As I listen to Old Life, I keep coming back to the thought that if someone told me it was a lost demo that Siouxsie and the Banshees recorded in the late 70s, I'd probably believe them. It's mostly due to the sound of the lead vocals, I suppose. And I rather like Siouxsie and the Banshees' early material, in spite of the murky production, so this resemblance in and of itself isn't a bad thing. And the minimal production here is a welcome change, giving the music an immediate impact. The drumming isn't as tom-centric as Budgie would have been, which is also not a bad thing — but the patterns are definitely out of the ordinary, rarely relying on standard accent patterns. Mere Women give us a good set of art-punk without pretense or excess, just solid imaginative tunes with some spiky edges to keep our ears from getting too complacent. The energetic parts are offset by some more ambient sections, where moody chords bring to mind misty night scenes. But then the dissonant guitar and jumpy drums will come back to remind us what we came for. The vocals range from schoolgirl sweetness to snarling punk attitude. Several of the tunes are catchy enough to grab the attention, like "Esther" with its "You are a pearl of a girl" line repeating, and its really odd guitar sounds. Another favorite is "Amends": "Let's make amends before we die." Good stuff.
Related artist(s): Mere Women
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