Blue and green record exploding into shards

Sacre Noir

As soon as this CD begins, it strikes me how much the ‘atmospherics’ are like those found on most Joy Division recordings. The songs sound like they’ve been recorded in a dungeon dripping with rats and damp, and vocalist Carrie McIntyre’s mournful voice mirrors that of a damsel in distress – or more specifically, Portishead’s Beth Gibbons in distress.

The almost-industrial effects and beats work to good effect, yet there is one fundamental problem with this demo. Joy Division’s atmospherics worked because Ian Curtis always carried a melody, and Beth Gibbons, however distressed, always warbled a tune – but Carrie McIntyre does not. Discordant, scatty vocals work well enough, but only when the music itself is tuneful enough to make up for the lack of a formal melody, and Sacre Noir’s music is lacking in this department. For the CD to really work – and there’s enough talent in her voice to make me believe that it could work – either the vocals or the backing track needs to be infused with a distinct tune.

After a few listens, this demo does start to grow on you and you find things that you may not have first recognised were there. Unfortunately, most people won’t ever get to that point as the music is not striking enough to warrant a second listen. There’s potential here, but it’s probably best to wait for the next Sacre Noir offering.

Guest article from Heather P.

Written by Guest Writers on

Between 2003 and 2009, [the-mag] had regular contributors from music correspondents covering their local scene. You'll find them all in the guest writers section. The specific writer is mentioned at the bottom of each article.

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