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February 2020
Review

Artificial Pleasure - The Bitter End

Fun has never sounded so suave
Artificial Pleasure - The Bitter End
Published: 4:17 pm, May 10, 2018
Fun has never sounded so suave.
Label: East City Rockers
Released: 10th May 2018
Rating: ★★★★

A night on the town can go a variety of ways. From unstoppable highs to never-ending lows, emotion is an integral part of late-night frivolity. No matter the era - it’s there, and that’s really where Artificial Pleasure come into their own. A shining beacon of the fun to be had in dazzling pop hooks and sophisticated nods, it’s a suited ’n’ booted eyes view that has thrived through every glorious moment so far. ‘A Bitter End’ is the ultimate statement of the world they’re creating; a record that basks in glamour-lit champagne smiles while picking at the dark fibres worn in the fine fabrics and decorations they find themselves in.

Unabashed swagger is the name of the game, and it’s delivered in bucket loads from start to finish. Pulling together sweltering icons of times gone by (David Bowie, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode and Roxy Music to name a few), it’s a mix that’s served up through throbbing electro, chilling classic rock, pudding Krautrock and infectious pop in effortless fashion. Artificial Pleasure refuse to wait for anything, always reaching for wondrous hysteric peaks and putting their foot down from the get-go. ‘Wound UpTight’ and ‘All I Got’ unravel like an intoxicating smoothie of disco thrusting, while ‘Bolt From The Blue’ revels in an almost adonis-sized posture born for iconic Rio-esque video wonder and ’Young And Carefree’ oozes ABBA at their most unashamed and joyful. There are ideas and flourishes throughout, a record that looks in all directions while maintaining its unfaltering heart. ‘On A Saturday Night’ is the sort of number that could be both sung at full pelt on the night bus home but also sit on a modern remake of Grease, and those opposing homes make ‘The Bitter End’ such a rich and rewarding album.

As ‘People Get Everywhere’ twists and shapes over six evolving minutes, it’s clear what sets Artificial Pleasure apart. Both winking at the past and rolling fast onwards, ‘The Bitter End’ is the sound of a band rocking the biggest diamonds while also sneaking in enough cider and chocolates for everyone to join in. Fun has never sounded so suave, and nights out on the town have found their soundtrack. Jamie Muir

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