This E.P from Stockholm’s The Vice is 4 tracks of Nightbreed style Goth rock with hints of metal. This trio layer on the atmosphere like the beer and sweat on the steps in the Slimelight (treacherous masonry that it is) .
Rickard has a vocal style that flits between Suspiria’s Matthew Carl Lucian, Carl McCoy from Fields and a gravelly death rasp. Drummer Petter seems to want to play blasts but stops himself short and Charlie on the 4 string knows how to bring those Patricia Morrison (I know she didn’t really play em) low end feels.
Opening with the title track there are plenty of hand wafting moments in the intro before the bassline kicks in for serious lightbulb screwing and dancefloor pacing. This is 90’s goth for Lost Boys and Vamps. The guitar leads are very clean and there is a polished feel which is no bad thing. It’s a shame that there are a few stop start moments which stop the dark flow.
Run to Seed opens like a galloping Maiden track before mixing in heavy rock and 80’s dark wave. The drummer is really pulling at the leash to go full Pete Sandoval but reigns it in.
A Prayer Cast in Stone was released in May of last year as single and gets a second bite at the cherry here. This is a slower affair and is a little Hot Topic goff for my tastes but the angsty guitars and eerie vocals will certainly resonate with many ostracised teens in their bedrooms. We have all needed lyrics like “Cast in stone we’re destined to die alone” at some point in our lives. There is a Hussey guitar line running underneath that taps into the purple scarf part of my psyche and makes me grin.
Head For the Hills brings up the rear and Rickard spits angry bile throughout reminiscent of Pete Murphy and Rob the Baron from Amebix. This is dark and angry music with a menacing groove that pulled me in and made me want to give into its pallid, high coiffured theatre.
The Vice mix up many shades from a palette of black and grey from yesteryear and create an interesting work of gothic fun.
(6.5/10 Matt Mason)