The Side-Show Sirens - Coffin Leather EP

The worst thing that could possibly happen to The Side-Show Sirens would be for them to sign a major recording contract, record with a big-name producer and release a slick, polished album that totally belies their natural 'low-fi', sleazy roots.

With songs as good as the five on show here though, they are running an all too serious risk of that scenario becoming a reality!

Recorded in just one afternoon, under the most basic of conditions, this debut EP captures exactly what The Side-Show Sirens are all about: Garage-Sleaze-Indie-Glam-Goth-Pop! Whist that might seem to some a hideous melting-pot of styles that can't possibly go together, The Side-Show Sirens pull it all together and, whilst bringing to mind several fairly obvious influences, manage to create a sound that is both refreshing and original.

'The Witch', for example comes across like Tyla (Dogs D'Amour) singing Rachel Stamp. Next up though, you have 'Velvet Creep'; a female vocal, vaguely reminiscent of The Nymphs' Inger Lorre, vies for the lead with a cleaner than before male vocal.

In fact, it is this sharing and sparring of the male / female lead vocal that really defines The Sirens' sound. Much like The Wildhearts are at their best when both Ginger and CJ are at the microphone, The Side-Show Sirens have hit upon a simple combination that gives them a unique sound all of their own.

Elsewhere, 'TV Love' brings to mind synth-pop-rockers Pink Grease (albeit without the synthesisers!), whist 'Dame Nation' could be right out of The Rocky Horror Picture Show! Finally, 'Sideshow' closes the EP in a very mellow frame of mind - the male / female vocal harmonies still defining the band's sound.

If I had to say anything negative about this EP, the only thing I could think of is that it's not long enough. Five songs, in just over fifteen minutes, is enough to whet your appetite for this truly unique band's sound, but leaves you wanting more! With a second EP ('Last Exit to Bispham') in the offing though, you shouldn't have to wait too long for your next fix from The Side-Show Sirens.

Now, if they'd only take their live show a little further a field than their native Blackpool, I would be a very happy man indeed!

8/10

by Danzai!

Visit the Side-Show Sirens Website