Album Review – Worth by The Sculpture Club (2021) (Funeral Party Records)
There was a time in the mid 80s, where those that dressed up as bin bags in shiny chains and/or 19th century prostitutes (our Goth friends), started to have their heads turned.
Whilst Sisters of Mercy type acts may have provided them with a common source of dark unity, the world, or more specifically The Cure and (especially) The Chameleons were starting to offer lucid jangled melodies into the world of joyous despair they fervently frequented.
Sculpture Club are a Salt Lake City foursome, consisting of Chaz Costello (guitar and vocals), Madison Donnelly (drums), Halee Jean (bass) & Bret Meisenbach (guitar), who take us back to these days of new possibilites and old dependencies, to such an extent that those times of mixtapes thrust into (un)trustworthy Walkman’s (click here under 35s) that devoured your tape ribbons with a insatiable appetite, are evoked for those of us old enough to remember such pre-pre-pre-Spotify worlds.
Sculpture Club offer the best of both worlds that collided during the transition from Goth (or dark Post-Punk) to jangle-pop. The darkness is still wonderfully conveyed in the chunky basslines and beautiful desolation of Chains and Faith,Fluttering and Shed The Salt. These tracks are perhaps slightly more beguiling than their 80s counterparts, but they are still never going to be accompanied by YouTube videos of pretty maidens in floral dresses, frolicking on a beach somewhere. Its still dark enough for lapsed Goths among you.
It is when the sombre is reduced by a couple of attitudes, that the album genuinely excels from a jangle-pop perspective. Tracks such as Just One More and World of Movement make no attempt to conceal the The Cure emphasis with their winding, tinny riffs, whereas the true beauty of the album is seen in the lucidity of The Chameleons-esque jangle of Gifts of Light, Clean it Up, Honest Mistake and Twirl For Me, which make this album a absolute must for a janglepop fans.
Sculpture Club may not be the sound you reach for when you are gathered in the imminent post-Covid landscape of communal joy. However, for those moments of quiet contemplative introspection, this release will add beauty to the alone+darkness, +headphones equation.