Album Thoughts | Cigarettes After Sex: S/T

Strap in, folks. Things are about get sad. Very sad.

Slowcore isn’t exactly a genre that I have much experience with. Aside from bands like Slowdive and Low, I haven’t heard too much of it. Two years ago, however, by total chance, I discovered this unique little act via Bandcamp. I thought their name was pretty interesting so I gave them a listen and instantly became enamored with heir sound. Brooklyn, NY’s Cigarettes After Sex play a very potent and melancholic style of slow, echoey, Shoegazy Slowcore that grabbed my attention right from my first listen of their Affection EP, especially their cover of REO Speedwagon’s Keep on Loving You. I’m not a big fan of ”romantically”-driven stuff, but their dark style just enticed me. As a sad fuck who enjoys The Smiths, Placebo and more recently, Giles Corey, they just fit right in to what I was looking for at the time. Unusual for my taste? Sure. Still damn good? Indeed. I would probably get scoffed at for liking this, but I don’t ever really seek to be a ”cool cat”, so I don’t really care.

You can’t expect anything fast or too energetic here, each track is a slow, calm and mellow composition of dreary, synthy, shoegazy Slowcore with a Dream Pop feel to it that has a dark but vibrant atmosphere that’s meant to give off a peaceful but super depressing vibe all throughout the album. Each track is unique in it’s own way and some are better than others, but the album as a whole is a very good listen overall. Some of the better songs include the opener, K., which is a great tone-setter. Then there’s Each Time You Fall in Love; a very melancholic but catchy tune. My personal favorite track though, might be the closer, Young & Dumb. Probably the catchiest song on the album. Their style sort of reminds me of a more light-hearted version of Giles Corey. I wouldn’t exactly call them ”Post-Rock”, but there are hints of it. Their style is meant to be listened to sitting down and relaxing in a calm setting, maybe with a cup of coffee and just vibing, except instead of hearing about depression, suicide and ghosts by Dan Barrett, you’re hearing about sappy love stuff from (CAS singer) Greg Gonzalez. Does it require a certain mood for you to be in? Yes. Is it a required taste? Certainly. Am I even a fan of sappy love stuff? No, but these guys bring something very unique to the table and I enjoy the hell out of it.

So, if you’re a fan of Slowcore like Slowdive or Low, Shoegaze like Whirr or Miserable, Post-Rock like Giles Corey or Dream Pop like Nicole Dollanganger, there’s basically something for all of you here. The tracks don’t differentiate that much, there is a core style, but it takes hints from each of those said genres and mixes them in a pretty damn good way. I know I might get called a ”hipster” or ”faggot” or even a ”cuck” for liking this, but hey, sorry not everything on here is Black Metal. I love it, but if it were all I listened to, i’d go fucking insane. How you guys can do it, I’ll never know.

Anyway, I’m not going to ramble on here, but if you’re into any of said genres and are looking for something fresh to lay your ears on that you can really sink your teeth into, this is a good place to go. It’s slow, sad, potent and relaxing all at once. These guys to me are one of the more unique acts out there right now in this particular scene and even if they are by definition a ”hipster” band, they certainly transcend the boring and dull norm that that community is know for. So give this a chance. It’s worth a try.

Until next time.

-Scvm

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