The macabre nature of humanity has always been a source of inspiration with everyone from The Smiths (Hand That Rocks The Cradle) to our very own Picturehouse (Fan Club) penning tracks which explore the exploits of mass murderers.
Limerick duo Ger Cremins and Tony Monahan (Protobaby) AKA Pity of The Sea are the latest act to draw inspiration from the bloodthirsty, combining to produce an EP which charts the life of a serial killer.
‘Abandoned’ explains the evolution of the protagonist across five songs which pinpoint moments in his journey towards becoming a killer and his subsequent deeds.
Concept projects are notoriously difficult to deliver even – The Beatles Sgt. Peppers abandoned its concept after several songs. Pity Of The Sea have managed to maintain the focus of the project better than The Beatles did, but unfortunately for them they found other avenues to shoot themselves in the foot and minimise the effectiveness of the project.
The main flaw here lies not within the songs, the lyrics or the production, the crux of the issue is the vocal delivery. Pity Of The Sea can often be found reaching for or barely hitting notes and this dour, lifeless delivery makes it impossible to fully engage with the narrative they are presenting.
This is a real shame because musically and lyrically there are some fine compositions here which are being hamstrung by the voice of their creators.
Title track Abandoned initially carves out the kind of opaque noirish soundscape Morrissey would excel over, but without the vocal guile here the track is squandered.
Sonically, much of the release echoes fellow Limerick noise merchants Windings with soaring guitar motifs, even entering the realms of A Perfect Circle at times, but unfortunately the thing which this EP highlights the most is not that a song makes a singer, but that a singer makes a song.