With their co-founder and a key songwriter, Chris Harms, departing the band last year to focus on his other band (Lord of the Lost) there’s been an inevitable shift in dynamic within the band, and I have to say, I wasn’t sure how that would translate, musically.
Elatedly, however, I can confirm that this album is an instant hit. The band is maturing like a fine wine. Well, this is The Pleasures so it’s perhaps less ‘fine wine’ and more ‘provocatively-named, garish cocktail’.
The album opener ‘I Am So’ immediately draws you in; its grungy, heavy intro is enormously compelling, and not necessarily what Pleasures fans might expect – less glitter, more ‘grrrr’. As far as I’m concerned, album openers should set the scene for what the listener can expect from the rest of the record, it should make a point, grab your attention and make a promise upon which the rest of the album must deliver. ‘I Am So’ definitely does that.
The second track keeps the fire blazing; ‘Break All The Walls’ is, for me (and probably anyone else who’s seen The Pleasures play live over the past year or so), a wonderful trigger for some feather-boa-laced hazy memories of glitter-sodden nights in sweaty rock clubs. It’s so good to finally hear this song on record, and it doesn’t disappoint.
The two immediate favourites, though, have to be ‘If You Won’t Stop Then I’ll Start’ and ‘Das Homogen’. The former I knew upon first listen would become my latest musical addiction – it just has the most devilishly irresistible hook. The latter is a fabulously bizarre and entirely infectious electro number; think Rammstein does Disney. Yeah.
Quite frankly, the more I listen to this album, the more I develop a new favourite track. The whole thing is a triumph, a well-produced, diverse and shining hook-drenched example of a glam rock album.