Vertical Smile: Sex Drugs & Leisure

Testament of Youth.

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Punters expecting either pendulous portents of dub-depth doom or fluffy, cannabinoid- clouded ambient throb-scapes of this debut release from the Youth-fronted Vertical Smile might be surprised by its crisply economical arrangements and driving, dance-floor immediacy.

Killing Joke they’re not, but there’s a similar singularity of character to their finely stitched patchwork of genres and styles that echo KJ’s compelling sonic stridency.

From the punklectro sheen of the virally infectious When We Were Young, through the Nitzer Ebb-referencing uber-groove of Explode, to the belligerent funking bastardry of Can’t Take (The) Pressure, Sex Drugs & Leisure is an album that will, if you let it, insidiously hijack your subconscious, and Sid Viciously shake your booty.

Ian Fortnam

Classic Rock’s Reviews Editor for the last 20 years, Ian stapled his first fanzine in 1977. Since misspending his youth by way of ‘research’ his work has also appeared in such publications as Metal Hammer, Prog, NME, Uncut, Kerrang!, VOX, The Face, The Guardian, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Electronic Sound, Record Collector and across the internet. Permanently buried under mountains of recorded media, ears ringing from a lifetime of gigs, he enjoys nothing more than recreationally throttling a guitar and following a baptism of punk fire has played in bands for 45 years, releasing recordings via Esoteric Antenna and Cleopatra Records.