2 Dec 2022

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

S H E - Single/Video Review: Everything Was In Black And White

19 Oct 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Everything Was In Black and White is the newest single from Wellington’s S H E, and it packs a wallop.

The band have described their sound as "Lady Gaga meets My Bloody Valentine" and although I was sceptical of such a description at first, it all makes sense when you hear the song (or see the fantastic video that features members in drag alter-egos and is shot in glorious 4K, and of course, in black and white).

The song begins with a repeating guitar line from Ben Evans that is deceptively simple, but layers of synth and complex drumming soon add to the sonic weave that form this pop/rock song. Although the sound is appealing and catchy, the lyrics hint at violence and the memory of an incident.

During the song, the guitar forms the backbone for everything else to depend on. Synths weave in and out of the mix but are most prominent at the end of each chorus, while the competent drumming of Frazer Skerman skips above the mix in a shimmery frequency usually inhabited by jazz musicians. There are some impressive fills here that really add to the urgency of the track. The vocals of Jim Bailey hold back during the verse, featuring an echo response, but come forward in the chorus to become truly epic.

There is a definite influence of 2000’s emo music here; but I refer to the best elements of the sub-genre, such as emotionally charged vocal delivery, tasteful use of synth, and a nice little solo that isn’t flashy so much as identifying the climax of the song with bends and feedback. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Killers and Placebo (along with perhaps sophisticated jazz) are influences I can hear in the mix.

The synth leads at the end of the chorus are particularly appealing and anthemic, perfectly bringing the listener back to the verse again. Very neat and considered.

The lyrics are interesting as they seem to change position from victim, to witness, to culprit – or it seems to anyway. Before the band lurches into the chorus and repeating the song’s name (a common recurrence for some people remembering traumatic experiences) the singer also reminds us that ‘I don’t know what I was doing there I know it wasn’t right, but everybody’s got their vice...’.

There is enough here to safely state the song is about violence, but the message is ambivalent and flexible enough to refer to a range of readings (which is probably safest). Perhaps my own reading of multiple personalities stems from the use of different outfits in the fast-paced video shot in an op shop, but made brilliant through the use of fast, clever editing and multiple costumes.

My favourite lyric is without a doubt the poetic "my tell-tale heart it beats too loud" which is emblematic of the band and a poetic way to be discovered by a murderer.

The drumming slows, whilst complex fills abound, and the guitar takes the song to a gentle close with some subtle whammy bar bends, before a wash of synths ends the song and then abruptly ends.

Altogether the single is hard to criticize. Nothing overstays its welcome while the energy and drama remain high throughout. The visual imagery of the vocals work well to increase the tension and the music rides this wave of antagonism from the beginning to the end.

It’s a perfect little pop gem with a dirty mouth and some suspicious blood stains on the floor...

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About S H E

Frenzied drums, soaring vocals, glitchy synths, feedback soaked guitars and hooks for days.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for S H E


There are no releases to display for S H E.

Other Reviews By Nicholas Clark

Bevan Mical - Single Review: Cuts Through The Years
21 Nov 2022 // by Nicholas Clark
Cuts Through The Years is a jolly, breezy single by multi-instrumentalist, Bevan Mical. The song begins with a two-chord sequence on acoustic guitar, but there's something exotic about the chords are instruments that support the verse.
GiGi Genie - EP Review: Seasons of The Soul / Wa O Te Wairua
21 Nov 2022 // by Nicholas Clark
Seasons of The Soul or Wa O Te Wairua, is a collection of songs by multi-instrumentalist and self-described folk noir artist GiGi Genie. The group is led by songwriter GiGi Crayford and her support band which includes flautists, violinists, zither and percussion players.
Ben Horlock - Single Review: Don't Wait On Me
21 Nov 2022 // by Nicholas Clark
Ben Horlock (Ngati Porou/Te Arawa) is a pop artist from Dunedin who has an ear for a great pop melody, a knack for moody blues guitar lines, and the kind of voice talent scouts are always listening out for. His latest release Don’t Wait on Me features the prominent high hat of modern trap music coming out of Atlanta, an ambient synth lifted from a goth club track, with some deep bass chords to anchor it all together.
Hans Pucket - Album Review: No Drama
21 Nov 2022 // by Nicholas Clark
Wellington four-piece Hans Pucket is the kind of band you really should get into now (if you haven’t already) and see live before they become massive. That is, if the world is fair and allows these musicians to succeed at their art form because they really are incredibly good at what they do - and that’s writing beautiful, clever, unusual songs that seem to be for and inspired by uncertain times.
ABRZY - Album Review: 80 Different Ways II
18 Nov 2022 // by Nicholas Clark
ABRZY (sometimes referred to as Breezy) is a rapper who has quickly made a name for himself for not only his distinctive, rapid flowing delivery but his unique style that blends influences from Bengali culture. Above all, this release is genuine.
Gig Review: Dead Favours @ Valhalla, Wellington - 12/11/2022
14 Nov 2022 // by Nicholas Clark
There was a palpable energy in Valhalla on Saturday night; something akin to an orchestra warming up before an opera or athletes preparing for a big game. Before the first act, standing patrons were clamouring for the front line to enjoy three fantastic (and quite different) rock bands.
House of Bonnie Presents @ Valhalla, Wellington - 10/11/2022
12 Nov 2022 // by Nicholas Clark
While Wellington’s Valhalla can often seem the perfect venue for dark and brutal music with the Viking themed attire, steep black walls, not to mention imposing decals (including some surviving Halloween decorations), the bar was all colour and light on Thursday evening when Sodalight, REID, Happy Two and Burnt Out Graduate came to brighten the corners. The event had been organised by The House of Bonnie; an organiser who regularly puts on pop shows that are often related to Massey University creative art graduates.
Curlys Jewels - Single Review: Criminal
06 Nov 2022 // by Nicholas Clark
Curlys Jewels' Criminal begins with one hell of a riff inspired by the glory days of 90’s grunge, but produced with a little more bite giving it a metallic vibe. I instantly thought of Alice in Chains, not only as an influence on the song but also as another band that drew heavily from both genres.
View All Articles By Nicholas Clark

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Sam Smith And Kim Petras
    Taylor Swift
    Meghan Trainor
    Drake And 21 Savage
    David Guetta And Bebe Rexha
    Oliver Tree And Robin Schulz
    Chris Brown
  • 685 (REMIX)
    Victor J Sefo, Lisi And Mwayz
    venbee And goddard.
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem