EP Review The 1975 - Sex

The promise is tempered by their wildly fluctuating sound.

Manchester’s The 1975 are an extremely interesting and, at times, very confusing proposition. ‘Sex’ is the quartet’s brazenly-titled second EP and it is a collection of songs that sound almost like the work of two entirely different bands. There is an arbitrary split between the first two overtly electronic hazy pop songs and the second two more straightforward traditional guitar tracks. It is a strange approach. Throughout the EP, you struggle to get a real sense of exactly who The 1975 are. That is not to say there is not some very good music collected here.

Opening track, ‘Intro/set 3’ is a glitchy R&B slow jam. The vocals are wispy and light with a cut up vocal effect providing a nice sense of dislocation. This sound is carried forward to the next track ‘Undo’, which is a wonderful piece of somnambulant RnB. There is a lovely effortless swoon to this track, much like the previous, which makes you wonder why if they are so good at this sort of inventive pop do they have to resort to the rather more obvious guitar-led sound of the closing tracks.

Despite its basic approach the title track is certainly a great song in its own right, however, in the context of the EP it is slightly incongruous. It’s unclear how the band want to progress but ’Sex’ is a song that is bound to become their calling card. It has the hallmarks of great British bands past, a swooshing hook and a nice line in prurient, sleazy lyrics. The vocals of frontman Matt Healy do veer perilously close to pastiche though.

The closing track ’You’ is a disappointing way to finish. All the invention of the electro tinged tracks and the undeniable charm of ’Sex’ is bludgeoned away by the sort of bland anthemic emoting that has been done to death by any manner of indie bands over the decades. The 1975 have shown earlier on this EP that they are capable of far more than this.

The 1975 certainly show a great deal of promise on this second release but that promise is tempered by their wildly fluctuating sound. Still, there is plenty of scope for refinement for a band that is very much in their infancy. For now ‘Sex’ is an intriguing signpost in their ongoing development.

 

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