❉ The Mancunian band’s second album is eclectic, punchy, dynamic, guileless and thoroughly inventive.
Celluloid sample Rats: Night of Terror opens the album before a sway of noise enraptures the verminous listeners. Vermin is a brilliant track tracing the boundaries of humour a two minute rock song permits. St.Lucifer are indebted to their malevolent humour, deathly decadent lyrics awaits a listener. Explaining their shifted lineup, St.Lucifer write “to lose one band member – self-styled ‘sartorial percussionist’ Charlie Bergmann – may have seemed careless (poor lad had exams to pass – bless his spandex socks) – but to then lose lead singer Alex Lee to the Isle of Wight AS WELL (long story) might seem pathologically self-sabotaging”. Noting their female replacements, St.Lucifer finish with an aphorism Germaine Greer herself would highlight; “Simple gender calculus: Girls are better than boys. Fact. Deal with it”.
Unafraid to boast that their punchy Crucible promotional video has been banned in areas of conservative proclivities, St.Lucifer have achieved the near impossible. Frankie Goes To Hollywood didn’t achieve that level of notoriety! Despite their difficulties recording the ill fated “difficult second album”, Music is Violence is a more enjoyable listen to their undermixed debut. It’s eclectic, punchy, dynamic, guileless; yet wonderfully irreverent and funny at equal measures.
Manchester based St.Lucifer are indebted to 10cc’s studio innovatory tactics and Joy Division’s insurgent musicianship. Guest poet Emily Oldfield cries out the terrifying “do you want to die in a red room?’. Scary in Killing Joke claustrophobic pyrotechnics, Walk Slowly Towards Her is the band’s most inventive piece of lyrical expression.
All Lines Lean Forward, failed feelings furthered within its lyrics, brings a surprising level of gravitas to an album based on liberal dashes of Electro Psychobilly. Fox sings with Damon Albarn’s 13 era sincerity, while tape loops and gravitational synth hooks updates the album to 2018.
Industrous head banger No New Gods dials Charlotte Winchombe (formerly of Action Directe/Syd.31)’s distorted guitars heavily and high in the mix. Like Forward, it’s an example of the band’s blast-beat explosions of electro-punk-metal, choppily raucous and loud. A catholic album, Six Bathyspheres changes tact to enjoyable Pet Shop Boy rap, a hilarious incongruity that works surprisingly well in McCartney-like interpolation. Batty as anything!
The anthemic title track punches through a synergy of genres, some textures pop, trip-hop, metal and ska. David Fox’s lugubrious vocal latches onto John Mitchell’s rubbery bass parts with stop/start precision.
Some needed sprucing would have helped turn this into the synth masterpiece it aspires to be. Yet at its best, it’s still thoroughly inventive, showcasing the capabilities a regarded live band can create in the studio, bringing the disciplines together to create idiosyncratic pop.
❉ St Lucifer – ‘Music is Violence’ (AnalogueTrash) is available in digital and cassette editions, with an extremely limited crowdfunded 12” vinyl release also in the works. Stream Music is Violence on Bandcamp
❉ Eoghan Lyng is a regular contributor to We Are Cult. His writing has also appeared in Record Collector, CultureSonar, Punk Noir Magazine and other titles.