Dropped in at the deep end with hypnotic vocals SHe’s HiT’s debut album leaves the listener feeling slightly abused, but in a good way. Its dark acapella beginning, title track ‘Pleasure’, calls out “can’t feel no lust/can’t feel no pleasure”, a theme that runs throughout the album. The songs seep into your psyche, they’re dark and depressing at times but they all stand out, from the rousing ‘Young Love Dead’ to the resigned apathy of ‘Forfeit to Despair’.
The album starts off fast paced, ‘Shimmer Shimmer’ is probably one of the most upbeat songs on the album. ‘Re:Peater’ calls for pain, “I wanted you to make me bleed/I wanted to be your disease” and lead singer David Wilson’s vocals let you know he’s serious. Pleasure is littered with unidentifiable sounds, and the reverb and distortion create a sense of bewilderment that is essential to the feel of the album.
Jen Paley, of the now disbanded Astral Planes, lends her vocals to several tracks and her voice comes as a bit of relief to Wilson’s drone. ‘Lustless’ is a subtle and haunting song about a love you can’t live without, but this subtlety is shaken up by the wailing of distorted bagpipes, in one of the most affecting songs of the album.
Paley also features on closer ‘Forfeit to Despair’, where the apathy and despair of youth really comes through, giving the end of the album the feel of a house party winding down.
That’s not to suggest the album sounds in any way lazy, as it really is a diverse collection that captures the pain, apathy and desire of young people in and out of love.
Words: Jennifer Wallace