Review of Deadbyfiveoclock EP by Black Market Serotonin

Black Market Serotonin's 'Deadbyfiveoclock' EP is an ambitious combination of a multiplicity of influences; a blend that experimentally fuses elements of alternative, progressive and post-rock with synth-led pop.

From a low fuzzy synth introduction, the EP's opening and title track, 'Deadbyfiveoclock', launches unexpectedly into a brief yet epic post-rock feel before Andrew Pimblott's gruff vocals power in. The track chops from the epic, atmospheric, post-rock feel of iLiKETRAiNS to a kind of edgy, punk-tinged vibe that brings to mind The Offspring. On the flipside of a ripping guitar solo, 'Deadbyfiveoclock' backs out to a more sedate breakdown that contrasts the charging fury, before Black Market Serotonin drive back in with a synth and guitar led instrumental. Right from the EP's opening track, it's clear that the Black Market Serotonin blend is one of much variety and tight, slick chopping and changing, stopping and starting.

Black Market Serotonin Deadbyfiveoclock EP

The seven and a half minute long 'The End Of History' further emphasises Black Market Serotonin's tendency towards longer multi-sectioned tracks and away from short snappy ones. During its' introduction, 'The End Of History' opens with a piano melody echoing above squelching, fuzzy synth sounds, then met by pounding drums and bass, charging distorted guitars and a strong flavour of The Killers. Rhythmic verses power into determined choruses that are then intercepted by an electronic beat accompanied piano solo which provides a brief calm before the storm of when the whole band power in thus chopping from a timid Radiohead feel to a racing Muse-like sound that is further strengthened by aggressive, menacing vocals. 'Revelation One' then sounds epic, guitar-led instrumentals alongside foreboding, anxious verses before seemingly relaxing out to a funkier dance groove that, as anticipated, is short-lived and soon thwarted by the return of the noisy rock drive.

The closing two tracks of Black Market Serotonin's 'Deadbyfiveoclock' EP are somewhat calmer. Reminiscent of Idlewild's 'Live In A Hiding Place', 'Clarity' continues with picked guitar accompanied verses that power into a typical Idlewild chorus; a strong and catchy chorus flanked by euphoric post-rock distortion. The EP's concluding track, 'Hours', then contrasts the preceding tracks as a more sombre, sedate and down tempo ballad accompanied by strummed guitar and soothing rain sounds.

Black Market Serotonin can't be faulted on their ambition and playing ability, but on hearing their 'Deadbyfiveoclock' EP, the listener is left with no real sense of who Black Market Serotonin are, just a melting pot of lots of different things and no really powerful identity; promising beginnings but yet to be refined.

Hannah Spencer

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