Pleasure Leftists: S/T 12"
On the follow-up to their 2 song EP on Katorga Works (which features both songs off the EP), Pleasure Leftists have expanded upon the moody post-punk they're known for. With these songs, however, the chorusy bass is much more prominent than on their 12 inch debut EP and brings a darker feel to the sound. On first listen it seems easy to compare that sound to that of bands like Masshysteri or Terrible Feelings, but give it a few more spins and you begin to find a lot more depth and weirdness than the often straight-forward approach of the aforementioned. The most notable standout of PL for me is the rare and fiercely original vocal approach of lead singer Haley. Prior to being recruited, Haley was known for her radio show, and since has begun her own solo project called Kiernan Paradise, which sheds light on a more electronic synthy background. Her often incoherent banshee croons set a mood which envelops and entrances you, and the guitar and bassist are smart enough to back it up subtly and simply with jangly leads and dutiful rhythms. Not at all what one might expect from two former members of 9 Shocks Terror, but good enough to make you forget any comparison or dissection. "Hunger Split" accents the rest of the songs perfectly with its surprising brightness in the midst of the otherwise-broody record. The ensuing "Not Over" conjures some Twee elements with its soft loose guitars and driving bass.