tue 29/09/2020

CD: The Jezabels - Synthia | reviews, news & interviews

CD: The Jezabels - Synthia

CD: The Jezabels - Synthia

Aussie four-piece throw out the rulebook on immersive third album

Here to catch you off guard: The Jezabels

It would be easy to write off The Jezabels’ third album as style over substance. The gaudy, synth-heavy gloom-pop of Synthia seeks to catch you off guard with its sexualised sighs, sinewy rhythms and liquid melodies. It’s only on repeated listens that its wider themes emerge: gender roles and identity; desire and disgust and, in “Smile”, a devastating put-down of the everyday street-harasser.

It would be easy to write off The Jezabels’ third album as style over substance. The gaudy, synth-heavy gloom-pop of Synthia seeks to catch you off guard with its sexualised sighs, sinewy rhythms and liquid melodies. It’s only on repeated listens that its wider themes emerge: gender roles and identity; desire and disgust and, in “Smile”, a devastating put-down of the everyday street-harasser.

It begins with “Stand and Deliver” – an immersive, seven-and-a-half-minute synthesised dream sequence during which frontwoman Hayley Mary transforms from wide-eyed ingenue into high priestess of electro-rock. “Come on little boys, come and give a bitch a kiss,” she croons over a ticking drum beat, ready to pounce as guitars and synth swoop in and overwhelm. The darkly epic “My Love Is My Disease” heightens the drama even further, albeit with the arch underpinnings of a carefully-orchestrated form of hysteria.

Broadly speaking, Synthia hosts two types of song: the atmospheric “A Message From My Mothers Passed” and album closer “Stamina” – another seven-minute epic that is as huge as its opening counterpoint split the album into jagged halves of relatively straightforward rock songs bookended by lush, dreamy, all-consuming electro-experimentation. Strangely it’s some of the former, although shorter, that drag: despite its wandering synth, “Unnatural” doesn’t really go anywhere and “Come Alive” is a bit of mess that throws in electronica, hard rock really, everything but a tune. But when The Jezabels get it right, they really get it right: current single “Pleasure Drive” flaunts a dirty groove that oozes sex appeal, and the wickedly righteous “Smile” might already be my song of the year.

@lastyearsgirl_

Listen to "Pleasure Drive" by The Jezabels

Current single 'Pleasure Drive' flaunts a dirty groove that oozes sex appeal

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Average: 4 (1 vote)

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