When I first heard The Opposite Sex’s self-titled EP in 2006, I was quite taken by the doomy sound but it was admittedly too rooted in the past to suggest they could progress further. Three years on and though the 1980’s ghosts of post-punk still linger, they have embellished their sound with a visceral energy. ‘Live + Burn EP’ does much to consolidate the good work from 2007’s first album and even adds fresh influences.
The EP begins thrillingly. ‘Frozen Heart/Froze Mind’ allies their punk intensity with the kind of raw production you’d expect from a live performance. ‘Is That You’ is built around a guitar figure that recalls the epic widescreen melodies of Echo And The Bunnymen’s early albums. The title track is equally fired-up whilst ‘Thread’ – the slowest track – is dominated by stuttering percussion and frontman Shawn Helton’s haunted bellow.
‘Leave It All Behind’ is the strangest song here. After some portentous verses, the chorus is curiously uplifting; almost as if two different bands are at work. Only the overly-melodramatic finale ‘Another Big Bang’ outstays its welcome but otherwise they sound youthful and alive.
Across six concise tracks, The Opposite Sex prove themselves as far more than mere post-punk plodders. Instead they make stirring music, which has a relevance that transcends their influences.
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Bauhaus, Echo And The Bunnymen