Overall Score: 9/10 songs: 9/10 consistency: 9/10 replay value: 9/10 Pros: Another home run from a band that never seems to miss Cons: Virtually nothing
Plagueboys is the third album by Finnish Rockers Grave Pleasures, (fourth overall if we count Climax by Beastmilk) it comes after a 6 year gap following on from 2017’s Motherblood.
Grave Pleasures feel at times like someone got a 70s/80s themed Goth playlist and just hit play on all the songs, which sounds like more of a slight than it should. There are clearly elements of Sisters of Mercy, Echo & the Bunnymen and to a lesser degree Siouxsie & The Banshees & The Cure. Yes, admittedly they are the most basic of comparisons, but if you are new to the band this is the ball park you’ll be playing in.
There is a classic feel to Plagueboys and Grave Pleasures as a whole. They manage to sound retro without trying to mine nostalgia for the time, yet there is something wholly modern about them at the same time. Motherblood was made it onto a lot of favourite albums of 2017 lists, setting a ludicrously high bar for anyone to clear, let alone the band that wrote it.
Disintegration Girl kicks off the album in apocalyptic form, with a lyric which is almost certainly going to become many people’s social media bio over the coming months “she’s the end of the world in the form of a girl“. It rattles along with impossible swagger that ushers in this new era without missing a beat from the last record to this one.
Heart like a Slaughterhouse, is silky & seductive. It bounces along on a jangly razor wire riff, slithering its way into your ear like a snake trying to get you to take a bite out of a very forbidden apple.
When the Shooting’s Done & Lead Balloons are different animals entirely, both have a touch of the Interpol about them, evoking that early 00s angular indie sound that dominated clubs & NME magazine covers. Proving they can switch gears on a dime. Society of Spectres is yet another example of this, it adds a layer of synthwave to proceedings and is one of the album’s more danceable moments.
Plagueboys is a triumphant record. It is full of many shades and moods that converge together to create another masterpiece from a band that never seems to miss. This is a layered album that will not only take you on a journey through multiple levels of light & dark, while somehow still managing to sound like a dj’s setlist for an end of the world party. Grave Pleasures continue to be one of the most consistent bands in modern rock and now is as good a time as any to get onboard with them if you aren’t already.
Plagueboys is available now via Century Media Records. To purchase the album, head to the online store.