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There are still those rare bands out there in the world that have a unique ability to combine macabre, mystifying rock with a more pop-oriented flare, a la early Bowie or early The Cure. Grave Pleasures is such a band that is equally suited for playing on a stadium stage, or in some Lynchian nightmare. It's that duality and electrifying contradiction that makes their music so exhilarating. The band's second album Motherblood is a truly danceable, pop-feast of raw, banging pleasure – in all its primitive, gothic tribalism.
Dance-floor death rock that brings with it an uncanny sense of inspired song craft that made Bowie's Berlin era sound so fresh and revolutionary, Killing Joke's tribal anthems so desperately ominous and dark throbbing melancholy of Depeche Mode's atmospheric pop so damn sexy. Just about every part of this record bleeds menace, or emanates nuclear fumes. It's unsafe territory which in turn makes it thrilling, sexy and most dangerously of all, catchy.
Lead guitarist Juho Vanhanen (Oranssi Pazuzu) steps up to write the majority of the songs together with British-born outcast McNerney (Hexvessel, Beastmilk). His screaming telecaster and unique interplay of discord and harmony has become a trademark of the band's sound. Together with guitarist Aleksi Kiiskilä (Kohu 63), their strings shimmer, hammer and howl out a web of sound which is distinctly Grave Pleasures. Fleshed out by the hypnotic signature rhythms of Valtteri Arino (Beastmilk) on bass and Rainer Tuomikanto frenetically pounding the funeral drums (Ajattara, Shining Swe), this group of well established punks have started to reach up to their zenith on their sordid new testament Motherblood.
The LP version comes with an extensive LP-booklet as well as the entire album (plus bonus track) on CD.