Words by Abi Whistance
This is not what I was expecting. With a title like Wicked Things, I doubt I was the only one pondering on which shade of Halloween VENUS were about to try with this EP, but boy, was I wrong.
Short and saccharine, Wicked Things is VENUS with a whole lot of pep in their step.
Exceeding no more than ten minutes, a blitz through this EP is thrillingly refreshing for the five-piece, and it’s hard to tell who’s having more of a blast- me (on my third listen), or these guys sat in a recording booth.
Having churned out three brawny singles in their time together so far, each with increasing success, it’s understandable that you’d assume they’d stick with what they know does well: dark, gloomy and ominous. Freaky Friday felt like the epitome of what VENUS were about to become, offering everyone a haunting that Shelley would be proud of.
But this is different. EP opener No Signs wastes no time in throwing that out the window, and while the sentiment felt in previous releases still remains, the upbeat and almost poppy riffs are a whole new ball game. This is wicked, for sure, but less Sarah Bailey and more Ferris Bueller; tongue in cheek and with a glint in their eye, you know they’re about to cause some trouble.
Amy offers a gentler side to the band, and for those of you that have seen VENUS a number of times over the past few months this will be all too familiar. Live, the track gives GK a chance to talk with the audience about mental health whilst the set mellows, and though the EP loses the frank conversation, Amy still brings all these feelings to a head with an explosion of emotion. The surges and wails of the instrumental do all the talking, with melody more eloquent than any tête-à-tête could be.
Yet this EP isn’t one to loiter on sadness; You’re Alright, I Guess is here to remind us that VENUS aren’t one to fuck with, and a mighty fuck you for trying. There’s as much character-building in GK’s line ‘get out of my face!’ as there is in years of personal growth, because when all is said and done, the trials and tribulations have passed and breakdowns have ceased, when we’re honest with ourselves that’s all that really remains.