Friday, September 17, 2021

PLEASURE CENTRE Combine The Rough With The Smooth On New Single ‘Opener’

Have you ever heard of 'contrapuntal sound'? It’s the term used to describe moments in film and TV where the music or sound over a scene doesn’t quite match the events portrayed – just imagine a gory horror sequence playing out to a soundtrack of Mozart, for example. 

What PLEASURE CENTRE’s new single ‘Opener’ offers us is something very similar, and it’s a track that commands your attention the second it begins.

The driving rock instrumentation is first to enter, its ingredients working together in perfect harmony to create an impenetrable wall of sound. It’s immediately apparent, though, that this will seem detached from the lyrics that follow – and it is somewhat less prominent in the mix for the duration of the song, but regardless of this, it's still a clear presence. 

The words that follow are evocative of the classic shoegaze indie rock of the late 1980s and early 1990s that define bands like Cocteau Twins and The Jesus and Mary Chain. However, 'Opener' combines elements that sound as though they're from two entirely different songs, but manages to do it in a way that these elements seem to work together. 

This is fundamentally what makes ‘Opener’ so noteworthy.

It’s also where that contrapuntal contrast comes in. It’s not often that you hear such slow, laboured, Ian Brown-esque delivery paired with a more aggressive backing track, and at times, it almost seems as though the lyrics will be obscured or inaudible altogether – especially in the chorus. 

Nevertheless, they poke through, telling of a desire to escape from the stresses and pressures of life; from the outset, the narrator proclaims that “sometimes I’m happy/But mostly I want to/Run away from you/Run away from this”. You might extract a sense of despondency or negativity from this, but perhaps the guitars, drums, and bass lurking behind suggest an underlying passion or determination, like a caged animal yearning to be free. Whatever your conclusion, give this single a spin. It’ll be interesting to see what becomes of PLEASURE CENTRE going forward, and how bold any future stylistic choices may be.

Mason Hawker
Image: PLEASURE CENTRE, ‘Opener’ Official Single Cover (PRESS)

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