Shape Of Water - Lockdown On Mars (E.P.)
(Eclipse Records – 2021)
It had to happen eventually - a covid-related title. Shape of Water at least take the world's most torturously dominant topic down a more tantalising direction.
Recorded during the darkness of the last year, this Mac-based Italian duo mix a few of their past favourites under a pleasing conceptual musical arc. Sounding like I'd just been sent a new Soft Cell album by accident, opening track 'Mars X' suddenly explodes, into a movie-like loudness, justifying the (cinematic version suffix on the title). 'The World Is Calling Me' receives the same treatment, the top highlight is the ambient acoustic/electric rework of Perfect Love with a plush, Prog dusted eighties zest.
'The Great Still Karma' jumps up and down with electronic gusto with some slightly Jimmy Somerville vocal turns, while a guitar-driven cover of Nine Inch Nails 'Hurt' winds up with loyal aplomb. While E.P.'s simply consisting of remixes aren't always the big door to a band's repertoire this is one I have quite instantly enjoyed in full - these lads have actually brewed up enough variety in five tracks to fully advertise themselves.
Definitely one safe to venture within 2 metres of.
By Dave Attrill