EP Review: Courtesans – “Better Safe Than Sober”
March sees the release of the new EP from this all female rock quartet, the follow up to their hugely successful debut 1917 following a Pledge Music campaign, and it’s been worth the wait. It’s hard to pigeon-hole this band into any particular genre, which is a good thing. The diversity that they’ve managed to cram in to just 5 tracks is nothing short of incredible.
The opening track pulls you in with a haunting intro, before the chorus grabs you by the scruff of the neck and shakes you awake, before slipping back to the haunting verse. Entitled Mesmerise, it certainly does just that. The rest of the EP is equally baffling, ranging from industrial, to goth rock, pop rock, doom and more besides.
This is a band that is very much doing exactly what they want, and it gives a truly unique listening experience. There’s nothing to compare them to, well nothing that springs to mind anyway. Others may find some similarities to someone somewhere, but I’m at a loss.
Overall, the EP is dark and moody. There’s a heavy atmosphere throughout, and it’s almost oppressive, pushing you down ever further into the world of Courtesans. This is not light listening by any means, and it’s all the better for it. When it’s over, you feel like a weight’s been lifted from your shoulders, and the journey may have left you a little bewildered as to what’s just happened, and you’re almost compelled to do it all over again.
This EP can be somewhat addictive, because it takes you away to an alternate reality, filled with surrealism, and feeling like one of those Scandinavian art films, where nothing really makes sense at first, but after a few more plays, you get it. It's that uncertainty that will draw you in, and keep you coming back, and then of course, once everything clicks into place it's too late, because you're already hooked.