I think I’m a big enough man to admit that before this review, any opinion I had about Patrick Wolf was solely based on his Never Mind The Buzzcocks appearance, so it might not have been an entirely favourable one.
But this single was apparently “For fans of Alec Empire” (according to the list of available reviews I picked it from), so I was intrigued enough to look past my ill-informed prejudices and give it a go. It turns out that it’s for fans of the Berlin noise-maker because it’s actually a collaborative effort, with Alec providing the beats, one would assume at Patrick’s request. Unexpected as that may be, it’s actually quite good.
Veering away from his previously harsher, more gabba-influenced noise, Alec has produced an eminently danceable tune, more inline with the poppier bits on his last album, Futurist. The quick synth-line in the chorus, however, adds a definite chill to the proceedings, seemingly transposed straight from a John Carpenter night-stalker scene.
The lyrics and vocals also add to the darkness, although how much I believe that they were inspired by Patrick “getting involved in some dodgy satanic sex games” is still up for debate. But despite that attempt at Manson-like controversy, they do provide a great metaphor for the wearing down of someone’s soul and yearning for rebirth. There’s quite a bit of baritone (or maybe it’s Protools) in the vocals too, so maybe Trent Reznor should be getting a mention instead.