04 May 2022

‘Pseudopop’ by Black Nail Cabaret – Review

International reach was the only thing stopping the sumptuous sounds of Black Nail Cabaret from reaching your ears. Now, with this lovingly remastered version of their 2018 release, I look back on their body of work and wonder why on Earth no-one mentioned them before.

Pseudopop’ is undoubtedly a culmination of everything that came before it, and it’s easy to pick out some of the influences. It’s a tired comparison I’m sure but the second track ‘Orchid’ especially has that Nine Inch Nails feel of a wild, breathing machine. Less DIY than a ‘Pretty Hate Machine’, ‘Pseudopop’ has a rich, deep sound clearly enhanced by the remaster. It can be said that it will leave a legacy of its own, inspiring future musicians in the genre.

Unrequited Love’ brings that wistfulness and yearning as an offering to this machine, makes it into something that transcends a dance track and becomes an experience; an emotional landscape. The vocals are what really sells ‘Unrequited Love’ – gorgeous notes that work with the almost hypnotic synth and not against it. It felt like being transported to a church filled with blue light and dark desires. A standout track for sure.

Technicolour’ feels like the comedown, both thematically and instrumentally. But believe me, I mean this in the best way! It is more brooding, more considering than the track that came before. Even the bridges and breaks feel more muted, giving more spotlight and ultimately more weight to the lyrics instead. It has a feeling of both solemnity and urgency.

  Pardon my French…

Another personal highlight in the vein of this is ‘La Petit Mort’, a cheekily named track with sultry vocals and lyrics. From the very first few seconds, we feel that tonal shift. With beats that bump and grind and an early New Romantic edge, I could see this being a staple at a goth club or even just a night in with wine and that ethereal someone who’s “full of grace”. Très bien.

  Takeaway

So, what’s the takeaway here? I’ll sum it up as this – go listen! A wonderful surprise to be introduced to Black Nail Cabaret, despite being familiar with genre of music. ‘Pseudopop’ is well-paced, well-conceived and well-executed. I truly think it needs to be heard to be fully appreciated. I wish them the best of luck with future output and cannot wait to see what else they have in store to show the world.

You can find Black Nail Cabaret through their website and their Facebook.