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  • Writer's pictureSpyros Psarras

Album Review: Lovescope | SIR-VERE

It was the 8th of July, 2021 when the Sanctum feasted on the album Singulus and compared Sir-Vere to bands like The Prodigy and Bomfunk Mc’s. A year after, May 2022, we got into their follow-up LP Pushing Beat Law Pt.1 which took their sound many steps further through a number of tracks. Today we’ll be exploring Sir-Vere’s latest release Lovescope which almost takes a 180 degree turn and manages to capture our attention. Let’s take it from the start.

‘Angel Of Death’ is instantly showing that the band is going through an experimentation like never before. The famous nerve has turned into a soft power and the sound is more intriguing than ever. The cool performance and overall mischievous character of the instrumental here transfers the listener into a slylish Hollywood crime drama of the 50’s yet futuristic if that could ever make sense. At the same time, this underlying vrooming bass melody makes the track a back-street slow-burner for the underground clubs of the far future. ‘Angel of Death’ is a real surprise for the audience of Sir-Vere for it's far from the edge we’re used to, until ‘Peer Pressure’ starts playing. Post punk meets electronica into an addictive chorus that will get you up and dancing around to a crazy, vintage rhythm ‘Peer pressure on me, peer pressure on you, peer pressure’s on us, alala lala lala’. Everything in here gives off super fun vibes, from the percussion to the guitar, and it feels as if the band is letting go completely for the first time. It's pure, feel-good music without the genre labels that would once describe the band (breakbeat/techno among others). POV: ‘Peer pressure’ is this Indie gem that has the potential to become a universally accepted hit single regardless of genre affinities.

And then, good old Sir-Vere almost make a come-back in the lead single ‘Misophonia’. This one would be best described as the bridge that connects the band’s signature sound to the newfound style introduced in Lovescope and therefor a deserving single. Dark verses co-exist with pop choruses ‘My memory’s black, I’m stuck on this track’ as Hammond gives a transforming performance like a true chameleon. FYI: Misophonia comes from the Greek words ‘misos/μίσος’ meaning hatred and ‘phoni/φωνή’ meaning voice/sound and it’s defined as a disorder in which certain sounds trigger emotional or physiological responses. ‘Bad Guy Kingdom’ comes next and it gives space to Morland’s fiery guitar which, together with some psychedelic-ish vocals and old-school keys, make the track an effortlessly transcending experience. BGK may not be a standout but acts as a breezy interlude instead, following a series of powerful, single-worthy pieces that are definitely hard to compete. In an 11-track album, that’s more than considerable. Same goes for ‘Destroya’, an upbeat rock-driven jam that undeniably manages to draw attention with its piercing, utterly noisy bridge little before it fades out into the homonymous ‘Lovescope’.

Despite its minimalism, ‘Lovescope’ grabs the listener thanks to the melodic and -forgive me for the adjective- catchy bass and overall pop quality. The staccato percussion and groovy guitar here reinforce the garage band style, bits of which are scattered here and there throughout this journey. The sturdy kick drum in the following ‘The Crazies’ comes to seal the deal before the music transmutes into the wondrous ‘Carousel’. A sensual aroma fills the air as Charlotte starts singing ‘Round and round it goes in this carousel’ speaking about the tribulations of life. The track feels sexual yet industrial, hot and cold at the same time as the heated vocal performance makes an interesting contrast with the simplistic instrumental that seems to follow the singer rather than accompany her. Maybe the most experimental piece in here up to this point.

Little before the end we have ‘Legion’ which left me with mixed feelings. In here we see Sir-Vere blending two opposite moods, one that’s edgy with another that gives laid-back 70’s -almost Beetles- vibes. I especially enjoyed the heavily electronic layers that are typical Sir-Vere but couldn’t help feeling confused through the interchanging singing styles. The track gets easier to digest after multiple repetitions though. ‘Emotional Lockdown’ sounds like a patchwork of previous tracks but not in a bad manner. It’s like 'Peer Pressure' meets 'Destroya' meets 'Legion'. Again, dark verses, brighter choruses and the uplifting tambourine that seems to play a pretty important role in this album. At this point, I’m more than happy to announce that Sir-Vere saved the best for last and more importantly, gave me my personal favourite track of their entire discography. It’s called: ‘Bad Choices’. Here we find Hammond giving his most sentimental performance yet over a highly compelling, emotional guitar melody and an energetic beat that is hard to ignore. Slightly moody and esoteric while at the same time groovy and begging to be danced to, ‘Bad Choices’ is a hidden gem for the fans to discover. It’s one of those times that words are not enough to describe the impact of a song but the song itself is enough to describe the beauty of this album.

In a nutshell, Lovescope embodies a lot of experimentation considering how strongly Sir-Vere have stood by their signature breakbeat style for so many years. It does not abandon all that we know but gives it a new space to breath, a new horizon to show its potential. This body of work sounds more organic with a lot less neurotic percussion and a lead singer who is able to adapt his tense performance to this new, more relaxed approach. Although this is hands down the Sanctum’s favourite Sir-Vere album, it’s not the one I’d recommend to someone that wants to get to know what the band is about. Unlike any of their previous releases, this one truly made me wonder how the band is going to move forward from this point. Until then…Enjoy Lovescope!

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