Sadness & Complete Disappointment – ‘Fun’

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If a band named Sadness & Complete Disappointment tell you they’ve released a record, you can guarantee there are some prevailing themes amongst their discography. The “Kate-Bush-core” trio, as they have stylised themselves, are in the business of misery, and while ironically named, the debut EP from the midlands grunge unit, ‘Fun’ is a harsh doomscroll of the bands’ life as it survives through monotonous pandemic living, toxic masculinity, and inequality, though it’s bleak content makes for no less of an enthralling performance.

Though only four tracks long, there’s a lot to take in – The band’s eagerness to explore and experiment in the space is clear from start to finish. ‘Monotony’ opens the record with some dirge-like doom metal riffs, a venomous and energetic showing that relents its pace for a brief moment of melancholic retrospection before returning to savage heaviness. ‘Oh, Rapture!’ is a slow build of tension, a mountainous climb whose rather pop-punk verses mix delightfully with airy vocals that seem to drive the track towards a suitably bombastic finish. ‘Survivor’s Guilt’ meanwhile is a full on rock opera number, a grand ballad that highlights the mononymous lead singer and drummer Esme’s Amy Lee-style soprano skills, something that follows into ‘Status’, accompanied here by bewitchingly wiccan guitar and bass lines from Kit and Bek, respectively, that make for marvellously sinister undertones bubbling underneath the surface of an otherwise heavy-as-all-hell closing track. 

There’s a lot of rock history on display throughout ‘Fun’, and while all four tracks stand viciously strong on their own, the variety can sometimes lead to a slight lack of cohesion as a whole, though for a band looking to take its first steps into longer-form records, it’s still a joy to to see the trio toy with their own formula to perfect their specific brand of vitriol. What’s not up for debate, and what remains consistently stellar throughout, is the painfully raw lyricism that brings the four tracks together through shared suffering. Right from the get-go ‘Monotony’ lashes out with a sardonic quip on wasting away through the everyday struggle – “Strike a match, let it burn out quick / die young and beautiful, emaciated and anaemic.”. ‘Oh, Rapture!’ jabs and snaps, and sharply rebukes the men that have caused the trio such pain in their past – “You make-believe that I’m a weak willed woman, because you didn’t want me any other way”. Throughout ‘Fun’, the worst of the band’s world experiences are given horrific half-life, and while painful, their rawness is encapsulating and honest, and will ring true and for many to relate to.

Fun is not something one may first consider when thinking on SaCD’s first record, but pain and catharsis intertwine on this debut to create an engaging and indelible listen. While kitsch in places and shaky in the execution of its message, this is a startling impactful collection of tracks that acts as a clear cut mission statement for a trio ready to rip & tear their way to the top. 

FIACHRA JOHNSTON

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