Readers will know that I reviewed Suicide Sports Club‘s single, The Last Ghost in Town on these pages some time ago. At the time I was cautious, adopting a wait and see approach on what was an average track. I saw some potential though and wanted to see what happened next. Well, the album is now out and the jury is back in to deliver their verdict: Suicide is painful.
It’s easy to dismiss bar-friendly chill out as shallow and trendy but acts like Zero 7 and Massive Attack have proved that this can be pulled off with aplomb. Sadly this album falls into the former category with its superficial cool falling wide of the mark. The entire album feels soulless and unimaginative. Most of all its a few years behind its time as this kind of thing has been done before and much better.
Groucho Marx once famously said that he didn’t want to be in any club which would have him as a member. It’s hard to see just how many will be joining this particular club.
Straight away it’s clear that this is the sort of thing which will have advertising executives wetting their pants. Looks Like A Star opens the album and the whole thing feels like soundtrack to a mobile phone advert. I had to check that I’d accidentally left the TV on.
The new single I Don’t Know follows with its grating rap chorus trying to echo Tricky. Things begin to stabilise afterwards but remain unmemorable. The short instrumental track Fresh Meat is good but at under two minutes is too short. Lyrical weaknesses mar the album and this track undoubtedly benefits from a lack of words letting the music speak for itself. When lyrics surface they are either inane or based around a motif of repeating the same phrases again and again until they lose their potency.
There are far reaching musical influences to be heard and SSC are justifiably proud of wearing these on their sleeves. My Black Dog begins with a Joy Division vibe which gradually evolves into New Order and then throws the Peter Hook style instrumentation out of the window for a grungey chorus that seems really out of place.
The album concludes with the Suicide Girl, mimicking Air amongst others. As the track finishes there’s five minutes of silence before a ‘hidden’ track surfaces, but chances are you would have turned off by then (why do artists insist on doing this!?)
Sadly, I can’t think of any way to finish this review so I thought I’d follow the albums example for what to do when short on ideas. I’m just going to go “de-dum-de-dum-de-dum, ra-ta-ta-ta, nah-nah-nah, doobedy-doobedy-doo”