We would never want to be regarded as easy when it comes to tempting but there is something about the ear gripping tones of Shaheena Dax (Rachel Stamp) and the imagination provoking craft of Will Crewdson (Rachel Stamp, Scant Regard, Adam Ant, Bow Wow Wow, Flesh For Lulu, Johnette Napolitano) which regularly has had us lustfully kneeling before their exploits. The pair of course are She Made Me Do It and they have us once again virtually drooling in pleasure over their new EP, Starlust and Other Tales.
The EP is a rousing slab of rock ‘n’ roll created in a sound which is electronic rock crafted but from a duo just as eager to embrace variety in the weave of their endeavours. As now is the expected with the pair’s adventures, Starlust and Other Tales explores another fresh aspect to their music and creativity, its six tracks transcending styles and genres in its predacious enterprise.
The release opens with Perished Alive, a song which gently moves into view in an electronic shimmer, harmonic enticement and an inviting lure of guitar equally coaxing ears within that glistening. Swiftly the song hits its more determined stride, the guitar of Crewdson casting an ear gripping hook as Dax’s vocals and waves of keys equally court attention. There is a predatory breath to the track too, it almost stalking the listener at times before dancing with them through frenetic rhythms and wiry manipulation. The track is superb, setting the tone and prowess of the release with its indie/electro rock incitement veined with punk rock attitude and nagging.
Nights of Starlust follows and similarly from its first breath had attention firmly in its hands. Lures of guitar are courted by patient rhythms and Dax’s vocal captivation, intrigue and seduction uniting in its earnest stroll and subsequent lively shuffle. In no time its varied rock invention is ablaze, firing up the landscape between the song’s pop driven manipulation, a template which breeds successor Incubated but is taken on a wholly individual escapade by the duo. Rhythmically pugnacious and sonically devious, it too was quickly under the skin and leading the most eager of physical and vocal participation.
An ethereal embrace is brought by Wretched Wanderer and at the same time from its outset a nagging lure from Crewdson which simply drew intrigue into the song’s emotive reflection of light and Dax’s equally haunting tones. Within a matching persistence of bass melancholic shadows lie, suggesting and in a way taunting the inherent radiance of the fascination soaked encounter. It all suggest a volatility which eventually erupts in emotional flame and sonic turbulence, the track only tightening its grip on ears and appetite.
The outstanding Disconnected holds court next, a lustful slice of electro punk/pop which prowls the senses with mischief in its eyes and dextrous orchestration in its deeds to have us bouncing like a puppet on its strings. Drama steers every note, twist and turn, its creators springing a devilish trap of enterprise which we gleefully ran to and with punk ‘n’ roll relish joined in.
The gnarly lure of bass which partly makes up the opening of final track Nobody Else had its claws in our subservience straightaway, though it is more than ably aided by tenaciously swung beats and Crewdson’s expanding web of hooks and sonic enticement. It is a slice of keenly crafted and razor sharp rock ‘n’ roll which epitomises the varied adventure and bold dexterity of Starlust and Other Tales EP.
We have realised a while back that choosing one’s favourite and the best She Made Me Do It release let alone song is simply a bed for inconsistent decision and wavering contemplation, but Starlust and Other Tales is undoubtedly right up there as one of their most striking and enjoyable offerings.
Starlust and Other Tales is released digitally and on limited edition signed CD on March 25th; available @ https://shemmdi.com/product/772444
Upcoming She Made Me Do It Live Show:
Apr 30 Nambucca, London, UK
Pete RingMaster 24/03/2022
Copyright RingMaster Review