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Courtesans - 'Better Safe Than Sober' EP Review


1. Mesmerise

2. Feel The Same

3. John Doe

4. Knowhere

5. The Tide

Courtesans are a London quartet who, judging by their light and airy band photos, obviously enjoy strolling in the park and baking pink cupcakes. Their EP, 'Better Safe Than Sober', is due for release in March.

To further my understanding of what to expect, I head to their website's biography page:

“Their songs might make you feel like a diabetic on thirty doughnuts blended with the bittersweet feelings of a prisoner on death row having his favourite last meal.” Given that they frame themselves as a solution to "hipsters, bankers...and keyboard warriors", I can't help but feel a tinge of irony. Nevertheless, I am even more enticed and I hope their sound matches their image.

‘Mesmerise’ is a great song to start the EP with. It’s dirty; sexy. It has an epic chorus with plenty of energy, and vocalist Sinead La Bella provides a melody that is easy to sing along to. What more could you want? So far so good.

What I want now is for the next song to have a similar vibe; unfortunately, this isn’t the case. A trip-hop influence seeps in slowly; their sound and image begin to drift apart.

By the time we start the all-important third song, the EP has already lost it's momentum.

‘John Doe’ is just one long crescendo; with epic movements during the chorus sections allowing Vikki Frances (drums) a bit more creative freedom. This song totally reminds me of Porcupine Tree and grows on you for sure.

The EP's saving grace is the Rob Zombie vibe I get from ‘Knowhere’. Sanchez (Guitar) and Jones (Bass) are in their element; this is how I imagined they sounded after looking at their press photos!

Final thoughts: To be honest, it’s not a bad EP at all; it demonstrates what Courtesans can do, and I can only imagine what their live performance would be like. What frustrates me is the crossed wires between image and sound.

It’s music that’s meant to grab you by the nuts; just not mine.

Stand Out Tracks: Mesmerise, Knowhere

Check out their video for 'Mesmerise'

Review - Dafydd Cartwright

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