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Patroness b/w The Cold Fraction

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eNTERTAINME.nt have returned with their second 7", part of their thumbing of the nose at the "modern convention" of all digital releases, and their adherence to an older, arguably simpler time. A time with better music at least, and here i mean the post-punk era of the late 70s and early 80s. The music of eNTERTAINME.nt reminds me so much of the sounds from that time, and this is a great thing in my book. Obvious reference points include very early U2 (just the first couple of albums really), a hint of Wire, a dash of Bauhaus, and a small serving of Joy Division. It's a good mix.

There are two songs on this single, which, i must point out, does not have a speed on it anywhere! The thing plays at 45 RPM, just so you know.

The A-side is Patroness, which is another classic eNTERTAINME.nt tune. There is a high-pitched squealing guitar, a strange trilling keyboard riff, and vocalist Trey Ehart ranting away, speaking his vocals more than singing. On the choruses, the tune gets slightly louder, slightly faster, slightly more deranged. The whole thing plays like some fever dream, like a moment of delirium. However, the guitarwork still reminds me of early U2, and the bass is a lovely slippery thing. There are more keys here than i remember from their first single, including a keyboard solo of sorts, but in general the song moves along very nicely. This is a damned fine tune, and a worthy addition to eNTERTAINME.nt's slowly growing catalog.

The B-side is a different creature entirely. It's called The Cold Fraction, and if the A-side is a fever dream, this tune is a full on hallucination. It chugs along at variable rhythm, speeding up and slowing down, with thick thudding drums and a lovely plodding bass riff. The guitar and keyboards trill over the rhythm, and Ehart sings slightly deeper. I want to say that it reminds me of early INXS, perhaps off of Shabooh Shoobah, but i cannot for the life of think of what tune i want to compare it to. Nonetheless, this is an odd tune. In all honesty, it is my least favorite of the four eNTERTAINME.nt songs i now have in my possession. The rhythmic shifts seem like they are trying to convey something, to get me into some mood that i just cannot quite grasp. The end result is that the song seems too uneasy to me, like it is an experimental piece that is not quite finished.

So this is something of a mixed bag, and not as brilliant as their debut 7". Of course, Patroness is a great tune, but that B-side could use some more work. Overall, if you enjoyed their first single, or have enjoyed one of their rare concerts, then you'll want this single. If you are interested in hearing a great contemporary take on those old post-punk bands, then get it for Patroness. I dunno, maybe The Cold Fraction will grow on me with time...

Related Links:
  Safe, at One b/w The Queen's Beasts (or suffer fools), eNTERTAINME.nt's debut 7".
The eNTERTAINME.nt website.
The Luminal Records website, which contains an MP3 of Patroness for your downloading pleasure.

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