26
Jul
08

Suntanning in the Nuclear Fallout: The Very Sexuals’ Post-Apocalyptic Love


I came across the Netherlands’ The Very Sexuals via The Walrus, and the fact this blog threw in the words Cocteau Twins and Mazzy Star when describing their sound made me stop to check them out. Also, the fact the band have made their debut album, Post-Apocalyptic Love, available for free on their Web site makes the life of an amateur reviewer a lot easier. Having listened to the album, I don’t think it’s quite up to Cocteau Twins stratospheric standards, but I do hear hints of New Pornographer-type shimmery pop harmonies and shambolic beats, youthful excitement and vocals similar to Ash, and some spaced-out melodies à la Dandy Warhols. Consisting of Joep van Son, Pien Feith (who also does her own music – worth checking out), Niels Philipsen, Cox Dieben, and Rob Bours, The Very Sexuals espouse a strangely positive view of a post-apocalyptic world:

It’s 2008 and the apocalypse didn’t wait for you
It did not wait for you or for me, it waited for nobody
Only a few could escape the fire
And they don’t know why they were so lucky
Maybe it’s because they still had a message to convey
Maybe they are functioning as prey
Or maybe it’s because they are
So.Very.Sexual.

I’m still not quite sure where the sex is fitting in, just as I’m not so sure the band name is the most appropriate for the type of music they make, but I definitely feel a life-force pumping throughout the record. While sex may be part of this band’s idea of recovery and dealing with post-traumatic stress, the music itself reflects a generally more twee atmosphere rather than sweaty and seedy.

The album opens with the psychedelic WWIII Rocketeer, which features fey male vocals from van Son until the lilting, jazzy female voice of Feith joins in, setting up a brilliant vocal pairing. Second track, Carla, is one of my favourites with its jubilant, explosive sound like some of Puressence’s latest songs. The guitars jangle and chime beneath sunny vocal harmonies, a soothing balm for a diaster-ridden world. Bowie Eyes announces itself with squeals of feedback and fuzzed-out vocals as it bounces around like postmodern surfers on a beach of the ash from incinerated civilization while Anti-Valentine has a rather retro Phil Spectorish feeling to it and child-like crooning vocals – like Raveonettes without all the shoegazey feedback. Romping along like children taking pleasure in kicking over sandcastles, Wrecked This Century feels like one of those irrepressible youth anthems where the best the new generation can do is rip everything up and start again while they cheekily sing: “Give me the year 2000 and I’ll make it bleed.” While the melody for the next track, Billy Idol Lookalike Contest, isn’t as memorable as some of the other tracks, its narrative is quirky and random enough for me: “We met on the evening of the Billy Idol Lookalike Contest/You look so very pretty/And hey, you look exactly like him.”

Can You Promise Me the Sky Won’t Fall On Us has heavier, dirtier electronic beats to it and Feith’s vocals resemble a more aggressive Feist; only here does the possibility of an ominous post-apocalypse surface like a primordial weed in a field of radioactive heliotropes. While this song does stand out against the breezier fare of the rest of the record, I actually think it’s one of my favourites. Final track, Finn, is a puffy cloud of a song with simple guitar and airy voices, finishing the whole album off with the line “And the sun dies out.” But somehow, it still leaves you thinking everything will be okay. Also, it features the quite brilliant line of “boy meets girl and girl steals his potential to be cruel.”

Overall, Post-Apocalyptic Love is a great pop record for summer listening – if this is what the end of the world sounds like, I think we’ll all survive just fine. So while I may not have gotten a new Cocteau Twins, nor a new Mazzy Star, I did get a fantastic soundtrack for weathering the apocalypse. Just pass the SPF 5000.

The Very Sexuals’ MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/theverysexuals
Pien Feith’s MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/pienfeith

Carla – The Very Sexuals

Can You Promise Me The Sky Won’t Fall On Us – The Very Sexuals

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The only certain thing that is left about me

There is no part of my body that has not been used

Pity or pain, to show displeasure's shame

Everyone I've loved or hated always seems to leave

Photobucket

So I turned myself to face me

But I've never caught a glimpse

Of how the others must see the faker

I'm much too fast to take that test

The Smiths Queen is Dead

A dreaded sunny day

So let's go where we're happy

And I meet you at the cemetry gates

Oh, Keats and Yeats are on your side

A dreaded sunny day

So let's go where we're wanted

And I meet you at the cemetry gates

Keats and Yeats are on your side

But you lose 'cause weird lover Wilde is on mine

The Clash London Calling

When they kick at your front door

How you gonna come?

With your hands on your head

Or on the trigger of your gun

Photobucket

Charles Windsor, who's at the door

At such an hour, who's at the door

In the back of an old green Cortina

You're on your way to the guillotine

Here the rabble comes

The kind you hoped were dead

They've come to chop, to chop off your head

Photobucket

Then you came with your breezeblocks

Smashing up my face like a bus-stop

You think you're giving

But you're taking my life away

Photobucket

Won't someone give me more fun?

(and the skin flies all around us)

We kiss in his room to a popular tune

Oh, real drowners

Photobucket

Don't walk away

In silence

See the danger

Always danger

Endless talking

Life rebuilding

Don't walk away

Walk in silence

Don't turn away in silence

Your confusion

My illusion

Worn like a mask of self-hate

Confronts and then dies

Don't walk away

Photobucket

You don't want to hurt me

But see how deep the bullet lies

Unaware I'm tearing you asunder

Oh there is thunder in our hearts

Is there so much hate for the ones we love

Tell me we both matter don't we

The Associates Affectionate

I don't know whether

To over or under estimate you

Whether to over or under estimate you

For when I come over

You then put me under

Personal taste is a matter of gender

Photobucket

I wake at dusk to go alone without a light

To the unknown

I want this night inside of me

I want to feel

I want this speeding

I want that speeding

Photobucket

You'll never live like common people

You'll never do what common people do

You'll never fail like common people

You'll never watch your life slide out of view

And dance and drink and screw

Because there's nothing else to do

Vanilla Swingers

All I have is words, words that don't obtain

And I feel I'm a stain on your horizon

So I stay away - it's easier that way

And there won't be no-one I need to rely on

Is it him, is it me

Or is there something only I can see

How did I get here, why do we blow around like straw dogs on the breeze

I'm a special one, what they used to say

But I've to stay on, finish levels-A

You don't need exams when you've read John Gray

The Indelicates American Demo

And nobody ever comes alive

And the journalists clamour round glamour like flies

And boys who should know better grin and get high

With fat men who once met the MC5

And no one discusses what they don't understand

And no one does anything to harm the brand

And this gift is an illusion, this isn't hard

Absolutely anyone can play the fucking guitar

JAMC Darklands

And we tried so hard

And we looked so good

And we lived our lives in black

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Plucked her eyebrows on the way

Shaved her leg and then he was a she

She says, hey babe,

Take a walk on the wild side

Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side

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Hide on the promenade

Etch a postcard:

How I dearly wish I was not here

In the seaside town...that they forgot to bomb

Come, come, come - nuclear bomb

Photobucket

Back when we were kids

We would always know when to stop

And now all the good kids are messing up

Nobody has gained or accomplished anything

Wire Pink Flag

Prices have risen since the government fell

Casualties increase as the enemy shell

The climate's unhealthy, flies and rats thrive

And sooner or later the end will arrive

This is your correspondent, running out of tape

Gunfire's increasing, looting, burning, rape

Photobucket

Well, maybe there's a god above

But all I've ever learned from love

Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you

It's not a cry that you hear at night

It's not somebody who's seen the light

It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah

Photobucket

And what costume shall the poor girl wear

To all tomorrow's parties

For Thursday's child is Sunday's clown

For whom none will go mourning

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My body is your body

I won't tell anybody

If you want to use my body

Go for it

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Oh it's opening time

Down on Fascination Street

So let's cut the conversation

And get out for a bit

Because I feel it all fading and paling

And I'm begging

To drag you down with me

Mansun Six

And you see, I kind of shivered to conformity

Did you see the way I cowered to authority

You see, my life, it's a series of compromises anyway

It's a sham, and I'm conditioned to accept it all, you see

Japan Gentlemen

Take in the country air, you'll never win

Gentlemen take polaroids

They fall in love, they fall in love

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We just want to emote til we're dead

I know we suffer for fashion

Or whatever

We don't want these days to ever end

We just want to emasculate them forever

Forever, forever

Pretty sirens don't go flat

It's not supposed to happen like that

Longpigs The Sun

There's no perfume I can buy

Make me smell like myself

So I put on perfume

To make me smell like someone else

In bed

Calvin Harris I Created Disco

I got love for you if you were born in the 80's, the 80's

I've got hugs for you if you were born in the 80's, the 80's

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Does his makeup in his room

Douse himself with cheap perfume

Eyeholes in a paper bag

Greatest lay I ever had

Kind of guy who mates for life

Gotta help him find a wife

We're a couple, when our bodies double

Simple Minds Sons and Fascination

Summer rains are here

Savaged beauty life

Falling here from grace

Sister feeling call

Cruising land to land

No faith no creed no soul

Half a world away

Beauty sleeps in time

Sound and fury play

Bloc Party Silent Alarm

North to south

Empty

Running on

Bravado

As if to say, as if to say

He doesn't like chocolate

He's born a liar, he'll die a liar

Some things will never be different

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LCD Soundsystem

Well Daft Punk is playing at my house, my house

I've waited 7 years and 15 days

There's every kid for miles at my house, my house

And the neighbors can't...call the police

There's a fist fight brewin' at my house, my house

Because the jocks can't...get in the door

Johnny Boy

I just can't help believing

Though believing sees me cursed

Stars Set Yourself

I am trying to say

What I want to say

Without having to say "I love you"

Josef K Entomology

It took 10 years to realise why the angels start to cry

When you go home down the main

Your happy smile

Your funny name

Cocteau Twins Bluebell

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Doesn't she look a million with her hairagami set

Hair kisses 'n' hair architecture

Yes, she's a beautiful brunette angel from heaven with her hairagami set

Hair kisses 'n' hair architecture

Augment a beautiful brunette

New Order Power Corruption

How does it feel

To treat me like you do

When you've laid your hands upon me

And told me who you are

Photobucket

You must let her go

She's not crying

Photobucket

Baiting

Feeling like I'm waiting

Modern times

Valentines

Hating

Hating to distraction

Just leave them alone

Whipcrack

Girls in the back

Girls in the back

Puressence Don't Forget

They say come back to earth and start getting real, yeah

I say come back to earth and start getting real

I know I can't

Photobucket

So I walk right up to you

And you walk all over me

And I ask you what you want

And you tell me what you need

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The problem of leisure

What to do for pleasure

Ideal love a new purchase

A market of the senses

Dream of the perfect life

Economic circumstances

The body is good business

Sell out, maintain the interest

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Sitting in my armchair thinking again and again and again

Going round in a circle I can't get out

Then I look around thinking day and night and day

Then you look around - there must be some explanation

And the tension builds

Psychdedelic Furs

India, India

You're my love song

India, you're my love song

In the flowers

You can have me in the flowers

We will dance alone

And live our useless lives

Ladytron Light Magic

They only want you when you're seventeen

When you're twenty-one

You're no fun

They take a polaroid and let you go

Say they'll let you know

Photobucket

No consolation prizes

Spit out your lies and chewing gum

Cut off your hair yeah that's it!

If you look like that I swear I'm gonna love you more

Photobucket

All the neighbors are startin' up a fire

Burning all the old folks, the witches and the liars.

My eyes are covered by the hands of my unborn kids

But my heart keeps watchin' through the skin of my eyelids

Photobucket

Prince charming

Prince charming

Ridicule is nothing to be scared of

Don't you ever, don't you ever

Stop being dandy, showing me you're handsome


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