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Again Into Eyes
S.C.U.M. Again Into Eyes
Released 9 September 2011
Producer(s) Ken Thomas, Jolyon Thomas
Label Mute
Length 37:13
Genre Alternative, indie rock
Website myspace.com/scum1968
79

It really is a shame that S.C.U.M. opted to drop their debut 12” in the aftermath of the buzz that surrounded The Horrors’ third offering. Aside from certain members of the respective groups sharing parents/celebrity girlfriends/penchants for sixties hairdos, both have a ticket to ride the “neu!-wave”, or whatever label the NME are currently sticking on their brand of shoegazy psychedelia. So have S.C.U.M. managed to be more than an Editors to an Interpol?

First off, it’s probably fair to say that if Skying flew your kite, then Again Into Eyes might well be a pleasing sensation for your shell-likes.

Recorded on vintage equipment, much of the album plays like a wireless rattling under a railway tunnel. This all adds to the rich soundscape S.C.U.M. daub across an echoey, eerie East London.

Lead single 'Amber Hands' is surprisingly catchy, all frantic, swirling synths. Whoever said shoegaze wasn’t accessible? 'Faith Unfolds' is also almost radio friendly, in a Psychedelic Furs sort of vein.

The Hammond organs are out in force for the very retro 'Days Untrue', while 'Cast Into Seasons' explores the more sinister side of S.C.U.M.. Meanwhile, 'Requiem' turns up the tender hearts within these black-clothed boys, delving into dreamy My Bloody Valentine-type melancholia.

Perhaps the only bum note on this recording is 'Paris', which despite the unbuttoned shirts and breathy vocals, is less Serge Gainsbourg than it is plodding tedium.

So, can it still be said that Tom Cohen and co. are nothing more than Whitechapel wannabes clinging to the (vintage black) coattails of the above mentioned band? Playing Again Into Eyes on full blast has shut this lady up.

- Deirdre Flannery