Fear Fear

Working Men's Club

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Fear Fear Review

by Matt Collar

Working Men's Club's sophomore album, 2022's Fear Fear, plays like a lost 1980s goth dance album. It's an evocative vibe the Yorkshire band first debuted on their eponymous 2020 full-length and which they further expanded on their companion 2021 singles "X" and "Y." Those latter two tracks found the group continuing to push their sound, exploring their more rock-leaning influences on "X," while "Y" showcased their love of hyper electronic dance grooves -- a balance they continue to strike here. Once again working with producer Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, MIA, Tricky), Working Men's Club dig even deeper into their black disco ball aesthetic, crafting an album full of acidic electronica that straddles the line between atonally robotic industrial music and dancefloor-friendly post-punk. While there's certainly a studied, retro air to much of the album, it's slyly leavened by singer Sydney Minsky-Sargeant, whose wickedly wry and deadpan delivery evokes the new wave irony of artists like Thomas Dolby and New Order's Bernard Sumner. Cuts like "Circumference" and "Rapture" are deftly hooky, combining glistening waves of synths and whip-cracking beats much in the same way Depeche Mode did in their early work. Others, like "Heart Attack" and "Money Is Mine" are more kinetic, full of laser-tone keyboards and spring-coiled guitar riffs that Minsky-Sargeant half-raps over. Even more cinematically compelling is "Widow," a pearlescent anthem built around an infectious keyboard line that immediately burrows its way into your skin. That the song, as with much of Fear Fear, also sounds like it should be used on a soundtrack to a film about vampires running a Europop dance club feels just about right.

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