Review: Superhumanoids – Exhibitionists

5 Sep


Without wanting to put too much pressure on it, Exhibitionists is an album we’ve been waiting and wanting to hear since February last year. Ever since we heard “Geri” (which, incidentally, was one of our top tracks of 2012) we’ve been hoping for a full length Superhumanoids release, and not only do we now have one, it doesn’t disappoint in the slightest.

Album opener, “Black Widow” is 3 minutes of delicate minimalism. The sound of crystalline wind chimes trickle amongst the almost silent guitar pulses while Sarah Chernoff delves into the dark psyche of a failed relationship, ”I should have pulled your teeth/ten years ago” she lilts as the song draws to a conclusion. The aforementioned “Geri” follows and is an explosion of colour and energy by comparison with Chernoff and Cameron Parkins’ opposing vocals, reminiscent of Stars, give depth and add a sense of reality to Superhumanoids wondrous world.

That opening couplet sets the tone of the album perfectly, cool and quiet shadows are pockmarked with beams of light and warmth as Superhumanoids ruminate on the crumbling of loves past and present. Parkins’ purring baritone provides an emotional anchor on tracks like “Do You Feel That?” where the arrangement has synths, drums and guitars spinning, twirling and playing together like fireflies on the night sky. Meanwhile Chernoff’s sweet voice skips along playfully on a couple of the more danceable offerings, “So Strange” (which has a fantastically teasing intro) and “Too Young For Love” (which is full of bo-ing pulses and bouncing key strokes and Delphic-ian precision electronics).

Bright 80’s synth-pop blends into cool clouds of dreampop as the energetic “A Gjost” gives way to the swirling mists of “Free State” which in turn cedes to the smooth and sensual groove of “Bad Weather”. “See It All” veers to the future as dystopian Vengelis-like synth lines and cascading 80’s power drums entwine over a delicate, gentle heartbeat and swirling rain clouds of colour.

All throughout Exhibitionists, melodies swoop and swoon, flying to the sun and melting into considered and analytical lyrics. Light and dark meet, mix and leave hand-in-hand, carried off on the marbled tide of heady and vibrant synth-pop and more downtempo and icy soundscapes. The Los Angeles based band has created sounds that dance, sway and float in equal measure and the result is an absolute delight.

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