The deep chords of a hollow piano loom over an encroaching drum beat and the tick of a cymbal; stimulated female vocals wrap around an emotionally charged line; threatening and intense harmonies strong enough to drill a hole through your eardrums and perforate your brain unveil themselves. That’s before we’ve reached the body of MS MR’s Candy Bar Creep Show.
Despite a keen eye for fashion, this isn’t a fanciful affair that relies on imagery and branding: the music herein is a tense, well constructed ode to the blood stained sleaze that decorates this EP’s front cover. Until recently a faceless duo attributed only to Brooklyn and the labyrinth of Tumblr, Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow are surely on track to melt the eyeballs of record executives across the globe and make flesh craving carnivores out of their fan base.
On its release lead single “Hurricane” did much to establish a picture of the band that is confounded on this EP. Driven by an overt pop sensibility and the perhaps surprising technical ability of Neon Gold's Plapinger, the track is yet the most light hearted of all on show. Dealing with the macabre thoughts of a woman on the edge, it falls into the same bracket as Ke$ha, Lady Gaga and more recently Rhianna in that it contains a slick and polished sparkle of MaxFactor stardom.
The remaining tracks are where MS MR truly unleash the beautiful monster contained within their souls. Opening track “Bones” sets the scene of Candy Bar Creep Show well, digging claws into Plapinger’s lyrics and arching the back of Hershenow’s matched instrumental until both fuse to become a mesmerising, electrified creature from the bowels of the internet underground. “Dark Doo Wop” starts as a siren call to a lover, enticing them to meet their demise before blasting into a drum march roll and casual hand click that at once suggests nonchalance and the fire light in a madman’s eyes. Final track “Ash Tree Lane” learns its lesson from a few tribal-electro breakthrough stars this year, but MS MR never lose site of the click and sneer of evil a’ lingering that makes them so special.
Sorely overlooked in the rush to make an impression this side of Christmas, Candy Bar Creep Show has nevertheless whet the appetite for the band’s forthcoming debut full length, due in the spring. Presuming their claws are sharply dug in to all aspects of their résumé, they’ll no doubt pack a punch powerful enough to stun their peers into a miserable, defeated silence.
Release: 22nd October 2012, BMG Music Group