Formed from the remains of Beastmilk, Finnish quartet Grave Pleasures seemingly take a more lighter, “accessible” route compared to their previous work; goth-infused metal with a pop-like shine. ‘Dreamcrash’ is carried by Grave Pleasures’ apocalyptic tone. A tone that produces a doom-filled undertone throughout. Straight from the start on ‘Utopian Scream’, Mat ‘Kvohst’ McNerney’s cries of “I’m an alien on my own planet” whilst his bandmates produce a stirring, atmospheric brand of post-punk-esque rock. It has an urgency and is certainly intriguing.
You can’t argue that there is a level on consistency on ‘Dreamcrash’. It’s served by a backbone of raw emotion and is supported by textured rhythms that move with ease. ‘New Hip Moon’ has a vintage shine and brings about a Joy Division comparison. Whereas tribal drums support ringing, twisting guitars on ‘Crying Wolves’, and ‘Futureshock’ has a subtle intensity that begs for your attention. Underlined by its punk tempo and snappy vocal delivery, it serves as an early highlight alongside the aforementioned ‘New Hip Moon’.
Admittedly Grave Pleasures have lost that heavy edge from Beastmilk, yet as shown on ‘Worn Threads’ and ‘Taste The Void’, they’re still capable of producing dynamic, engaging rock songs, whereas lighter cuts such as ‘Girl in a Vortex’ and ‘Crisis’ allow McNerney to take center stage with a smooth delivery, especially on the former. However by the time you reach the later stages, you’re hoping a big riff would come along as ‘Crooked Vain’ and ‘No Surivival’ limp to the finish line. This is where ‘Dreamcrash’’s downfall comes in.
Whilst its presentation is dainty with admirable melodies throughout, unfortunately Grave Pleasures prove to have a tendency to show their softer side more than that is probably welcomed.
Nevertheless, ‘Dreamcrash’ marks a strong new start. The fusion of horror-like post-punk, gloom pop and cool indie rock proves to be consistent, and with the addition of slick production, allows them to transfer almost effortlessly. Matched by its lyrical depth, ‘Dreamcrash’ has to plenty to offer yet lacks longevity bar a handful of listens.
‘Dreamcrash’ by Grave Pleasure is released on October 2nd on Columbia Records.
Words by Sean Reid (@SeanReid86)