Neuromantics – Crimes of Passion
Most of the time, running a music blog is all about championing the new. Always being on the lookout (or rather listen out) for something unique and exciting that stands out from the crowd in order to keep the march of progress ticking on. We get so used to it that we forget that it isn’t how most people consume music. Most people are open to new music, and the more discerning fan will regularly seek out something new when the mood strikes them, but most of the time we find ourselves retreating into the comforting embrace of the familiar. Often this means diving into music steeped in nostalgia, music that was either the soundtrack of our youth or somehow reminds us of those bygone carefree days.
There’s something about Crimes of Passion that feels very familiar. That’s not to say that this debut album from London quartet Neuromantics is wholly derivative and lacking its own identity; trust me there’s plenty of those about and this is something else entirely. Instead it’s more like the true charm of this record isn’t all about what you experience on the surface. As good as the album is, the true power comes from memories and emotions it brings to the surface which remind you how it felt to fall in love with music for the first time.
‘Solaris’ and ‘Invisible’ sound like they could have been lifted straight from Daydream Nation and Siamese Dream respectively, while the light melodies and complex percussion of ‘Clarity’ are reminiscent of American Football. The slow burning ‘Splinters’ wears its heart on its sleeve and makes for a nice change of pace, and the guest vocals on ‘Naive’ and album highlight ‘Trapped’ from Beth Roars and Poppy Smallwood add a whole new dynamic to the record. The artwork is very on the nose, and the lead vocals feel a little stuck in a rut and lacking variety in places, but overall it’s a thoroughly enjoyable first outing.
Here we have one of those albums that perhaps you won’t shout from the rooftops about, but will nonetheless find yourself coming back to on a regular basis. There’s something so youthful and sentimental about Crimes of Passion that I can’t help but find endearing, that somehow feels like home. While listening to some new albums can be a first meeting filled with uncertainty and trepidation, this debut feels more like meeting someone who it feels like you’ve known your whole life.