Horror’s temptress of the night returns with the first part of her debut album Handle With Scare, and from the six tracks it is fair to say that Venus de Vilo has lost none of her seductive revelry and demonic enticements, in fact only increased their potency along with her musical toxicity. With macabre bred passion and tales aligned to an equally dark acoustic temptation, the first teasing of the album has just bout turned an already eager soft spot for her sounds into a stalker-esque compulsion.
Venus first drew blood and attention with the siren call of her previous Edgar Allan Ho EP, a collection of songs which lingered far beyond their intent to become a fixture on the playlist of fans and underground attention, including our own podcast. The Dublin born songstress of the dead has turned the graveyard into her canvas for sonic bloodlust and sinisterly melodic adventure since 2011, proceeding to find a growing legion of fans through her performances across the city’s rock/metal bars, Burlesque and Cabaret nights, and open mic nights. Her presence has subsequently seeped further afield which the Edgar Allan Ho EP only concentrated with its devilish charm and sounds.
Pleasingly Venus has not taken a detour from her individual sound and songwriting which so potently lit up her last release, instead honing it into an even more precise and sirenesque proposition as evidenced by the new songs, starting with I’ve Got 99 Zombies And A Witch Ain’t One. Venus immediately cups ear in her potent voice to open up the song, a Wanda Jackson like depth and potency an immediate hook to which her guitar stabs lend extra drama. Though just voice and guitar, the track is instantly anthemic, swiftly lighting the imagination and sparking cinematic ventures as lady and music unveil the heart of the narrative. Twists in the vocal delivery and guitar stroll beneath haunting harmonies only add to the great melodrama caressing thoughts and emotions, an invitation which feet and voice are unable to resist.
The following Absinthe Makes The Heart Grow Fonder is just as enthralling and compelling, harmonies a delicious croon around the infectious Imelda May like bait of the song primed by Venus and her stringed enticement. Once again a full engagement with the listener is an inevitable rapid success, imagination given further inducement to explore personal shadows and gothic climates. As this and other songs lay ravenously on the psyche, there is a feel of a new confidence and precise intent working away in the heart of the tracks subsequently providing a richer clarity and persuasive tenacity than found in the previous release.
Both Bubbleglum! and Dead! Dead! Dead! keep mortuaries and ears basking in dark vaudeville temptation, the first an incessantly striding tango of stabbing riffs and ghostly harmonies around bewitching vocal predation whilst its successor decides to stalk thoughts before similarly swiping at the senses with feisty chords and Lilith incarnate vocals. Both tracks dance with wicked intent and salacious suasion, enslaving the imagination with vocal hooks within a simple but virulent stroking of guitar.
The Dead Don’t Dance slips into something even more darkly comfortable, a psychobilly whisper flirting with the theatrical colour of the menacing as harmonies shape a thick fog of expression. It is a song which takes a little longer to wrap its shadow spawned tendrils around the passions but eventually does so with unbridled success to emerge as one of the most inventive and dramatically powerful track of the sextet.
Final song Personal Satan swings with sixties embrace in its addictive tempting, essences of Shangri-Las and in some ways the Walker Brothers permeating the mouthwatering graveside balladry. It is a riveting end to a thrilling introduction to Handle With Scare.
With the album’s second half looking to be unveiled later this year anticipation for its full uncaging has gone up in impatience and excitement thanks to this teasing, and if the likes of Horrorpops, The Revillos, Imelda May, and fifties female rock ‘n’ roll instigators is a very palatable attraction for you then Venus de Vilo is a venomous treat just waiting to inflame and devour your lives.
Check out Handle With Scare Pt 1 @https://soundcloud.com/venus-devilo/sets/handle-with-scare
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