ALBUM REVIEW: Night Club’s “Scary World”

ARTIST: Night Club + ALBUM: Scary World + LABEL: Independent + RELEASE DATE: AUG 24, 2018

Simply in terms of words and imagery, “Candy Coated Suicide,” the lead single from Night Club’s new album, is probably the best description for the band itself. You can casually hear a song and think it’s just dance-y, fun, pop music. But, when you start chewing it becomes bitter, dark, and entirely too real. If you want to keep things superficial, you’ll have a great time dancing to the music of Scary World. But, if you’re inclined to something more cerebral, you’ll find depth in the lyrics that is often absent from similar sounding artists.

Sweet. Sugary. Instantly, like-able. Night Club is here to subvert your initial impression. These are songs about identity, relationships gone wrong, and self-empowerment. What’s more, this isn’t disposable music produced by 12 dudes whose names are written in some micro-font on the liner notes of a physical copy you’ll never own. It’s also deceivingly complex and layered.

Night Club released their first album (Requiem for Romance) in 2016, scored the Comedy Central series Moonbeam City and the Paul Rudd and Patton Oswald film Nerdland, all while garnering a rabid fan base and critical acclaim. Most recently, they’ve opened gigs for A Perfect Circle and toured with Combichrist.  With Scary World the band is poised to take things to the next level. Comprised of vocalist Emily Kavanaugh and all-things-electronic Mark Brooks, the band is steeped in early Wax Trax! industrial dance with a perverse take on Brittany-like pop music. Just dive into these 10 songs and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Let me get under your skin (your skin), you started something you can’t win (can’t win), I am your church these are your sins (your sins),” Kavanaugh sings on the infectious “Your Addiction,” one of the stand-out tracks on the album. Synths, keys, and other electronic instrumentation simmer, with a sinister bent, beneath her melodies. Characteristic of the album as whole, the music bends and twists with Kavanaugh’s lyrics, matching her melodies with a keen sense of mood and ambiance. Likewise, songs like “Blood on Your Blade,” “Schizophrenic,” and “Therapy (Get High)” follow in this vein.

Dense layers of drum machines, synths, keys, et cetera, emerge with each subsequent listen. ‘Imaginary Friend” begins with a catchy groove, but proceeds by adding sheets of subtleties you’d be likely to miss if you’re not wearing headphones. Not that headphones are required. You’re not studying for a test, it’s just that what the band has to offer necessitates further examination. “Vampires” has a synth melody that isn’t far off from Ministry’s “Everyday is Halloween,” and I mean that in a good way. It pulses under the drum track in a way that causes involuntarily hip-shaking. Album closer “Survive” is the leave-you-wanting-more song that every band wants to have closing their album. Taking every element of emotion and desire that came before it and distilling it into 4 minutes and 33 seconds of perfection, it highlights everything the band is capable of.

The songwriting on this album is so fucking good that I wake up in the morning with its melodies running through my mind. I couldn’t possibly give higher praise to any album than that.

– J. Kevin Lynch



Leave a Reply