EP review by KevW
And there we were thinking the glut of boyfriend and girlfriend/husband and wife couples in dreampop had passed. Philadelphia pair ShiShi are a little harder-edged than Cults, Summer Camp, Tennis, Exitmusic and so on, and on debut EP 'So Close To You' they embrace shoegaze and beats with more bite than the rest, and instead of taking their cue from 60s girl-groups, these guys have their roots buried in the 1980s and come from a far less cutsie place. It's telling that the first sound we hear is the sizeable industrial beat that drives the harsh, barbed-wire sonics of 'Nick Of Time', a song that shares much ground with The Big Pink's debut album. When we do get an obvious love song such as 'Anything For You', the passion is so warped by the sharp, almost snarling vocals and discord that it comes across as being angry in tone, which could well be the point, the two emotions can often go hand in hand.
On 'Bliss' the ticking electronic beats are taken from the synth-pop movement but the rest of the song harks back to alternative girl-fronted groups like The Go Go's or early Fuzzbox had they embraced the electronic advances being pioneered in continental Europe. It's possibly the lightest track on the EP but the snappy singing and twisted production suggest that nightmare-pop could be the most accurate description for the noise these guys make, however sweet the lyrics may be. 'Just Like Flowers' again has you wondering how The Big Pink got it so wrong on that second album. If they'd ventured further down this route they'd doubtless have picked up more praise. But when there are people like ShiShi around to making EPs like this then who needs them anyway? This mix of industrial, dreamy, scuzzy and lo-fi sounds fills the gap just fine.
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