Album Review: Pushing Beat Law, Pt.1 | SIR-VERE
About a year ago, specifically July 8th 2021 the Sanctum was discovering Sir-Vere, an underground electronic band in the likes of The Prodigy and Bomfunk Mc’s. Back then I was categorizing the sound as a 90’s-00's revival movement which in Sir-Vere’s case is not quite accurate. Their latest Pushing Beat Law, Pt.1 is proof that the electro/break-beat style is Sir-Vere’s second skin and the blood running in its veins. The band stands its ground proudly and this time, it’s remixing the hell out of a selection of their previous releases. Pressing Play>
'I'm on Fire' immediately sends the listener into a futuristic car race, with its malicious bass, neurotic break-beat percussion and chopped, distorted psalms and vocals. Typical Sir-Vere with a bit more emphasis on the instrumental since Pushing Beat Law, Pt.1 is presented as a remix album. All the band's flavours as we know them are here so let's prepare for the next level of their heavily electrified universe. Think of Tron but make it 90’s break-beat techno. The following 'This is Heaven' sounds like the soundtrack of a cunning villain and stands out for its subtle ethers making their appearance here and there, offering a sense of stealth as well as an ethnic quality to the track. So gently given that it's hard to grasp. Brilliant. As for the vocals, the narrating-style performance strongly enhances the cinematic dimension of this piece.
The Sonale Mix of 'My Mind' makes its crossing at the speed of light, like Sonic the Hedgehog bringing a jazz vibe (given by trumpets) as he runs through the stages as if there's no tomorrow. So rushed that 3 and a half minutes felt like 1minute max. How on earth did this magic happen? The beats get even more creative and inspired in ‘Overdrive’, with Film Noir-ish synths and a touch of Soul. This one needs a couple of repetitions before we move on for there's too much happening all at once. ‘Overdrive’ is a hybrid of genres, a patchwork of different elements and textures thoughtfully put together to belong in one piece. Intriguing as can be. The following 'Kick Ass Blitz' sounds neutral compared to its brothers however it’s an undeniable renegade, confident in its own power. Its repetitive character and lack of any vocal layer make it act like a long interlude at this point in the tracklist. And as it gives its place to ‘Hunger’ we are instantly transferred to one of the most memorable moments of the band's previous LP, Singulus.
‘Hunger’ is a Sir-Vere signature and is bound to prevail in every release. Sturdy percussion, sharp, mesmerizing synths and vocals that range from whispers to high notes, combine in an almighty electronic anthem we'll always enjoy no matter the way it’s remixed. As long as it keeps its edgy disposition of course. The Sanctum-favourite ‘All You Ever Do’, again taken from Singulus, is a real surprise. Here we witness a real transformation, the most distinct yet, with the Vodzilla mix offering strokes of club/disco vibes that take away some of the track's swagger. Surprisingly it's very much welcome and to be honest, that's the kind of creativity a remix album owes to provide. From that perspective, one might say that the Vodzilla take on ‘All You Ever Do’ fulfils its purpose more than any mix up to this point. And by 'one' I mean myself. The beastly ‘Busted Loop’ comes to fill the previous ‘gap’ of aggressiveness with a good amount of noise and twisted screaming, only to change form and fade into an ethereal space jam echoing into the abyss. A wondrous turn of events.
And when you least expect it, a megaton bomb crushes into our coordinated headspace with a gigantic kick-drum and a super-heavy, dubstep attitude. ‘Extra Beat In My Heart’ is jaw-dropping considering the style of its predecessors and it’s one of the most experimental pieces in here. The contrast between its bright keys and overall dark atmosphere puts it among the most memorable moments if not THE most memorable. Little before the end of this journey, the soundscape of ‘My Dark Places’ is ablaze with ominous ingredients, from devilish vocals to wicked synths while at the same time gives off a strong video-game sensation. The latter is explored further in ‘Electra Glide’ which incorporates a number of sounds heard before, adding keys similar to 2D platformers in the likes of Mario, Metroid etc. Last but not least, ‘Invasion’ is another unexpected entry which translates a heavy/death metal track to the electro language that Sir-Vere speak as their mother tongue. The outcome is loud, brutal and piercing like some blindfolded Resident Evil creature throwing its ball and chain with unspeakable rage. The only thing missing from the scene is Milla Jovovich floating in slow-mo holding a set of guns. I'm still trying to pick my jaw from the floor after this closure for some reason.
Even though Pushing Beat Law, Pt.1 is very much expected from the fans of Sir-Vere, there are more than a couple of experimental gems that will definitely surprise their audience as well as a strong cinematic smell in the air. Tracks like ‘Extra Beat In My Heart’ or the closing ‘Invasion’ take the band’s sound many steps further from the 2021’s Singulus and we are truly looking forward to more eye-popping material in the future, hopefully a Pt.2 if we guess by the album’s title. Either way, this is Sir-Vere at its best and maybe their most representational LP. The one I’d recommend to a potential listener for sure. Take care and prepare for a hot summer! Cheers!
Enjoy Pushing Beat Law, Pt.1 here: