Sertraline – Clouded Minds & Silver Lines EP
Release Date: 15/05/2020
Running Time: 19.43
Review by Dark Juan
Hello again, ladies and germs. I appear to be compulsively communicating with you this evening. I can’t stop listening to metal and spewing words out. It’s not like I have even had any Bolivian marching powder today. Unless they have shoved a metric fuckton into this bottle of Sol beer I am drinking. It’s been a testing day at Dark Juan Terrace and I still haven’t made it to the supermarket for the weekly shop. Yes, even hellpriests need to do the weekly shop. I go through a fearsome quantity of oils and unguents – they are so much better for conducting the electricity, you see. You can’t go around torturing nubile young things without lubrication and blood is a shockingly bad lubricant… not to mention it doesn’t smell as nice as moonflower and ylang ylang…
I know, I know. I’m supposed to be writing about records. This time it is a five track EP from the estimable Sertraline, progressive technical metallers from the grim streets of Stoke On Trent. Don’t mock them. Someone has to live there. More than one of the populace of Etruria has claimed to this hellpriest that the best thing about Stoke is the A500 out of it towards either Nantwich or Stafford, depending on whether you run North or South. It does have its advantages though. There are many convenient service stations on your way to Alton Towers through it…
So, “Clouded Minds & Silver Lines” is the EP I am currently enjoying. I’m going to do this review a little differently than normal and do it song by song, if you’ll permit me, with a brief overview at the end. Let us plunge up to our necks into some British heavy fucking metal…
Track one is ‘Inside Out’ and it opens with a gloriously soaring vocal from Lizzie before she demonstrates that she has some serious chops at the lower end of the range as well, switching from clean and waspish to gravel throated vocal martyrdom with no discernible effort. Backed by a band of some quite frankly breathtaking musicians, this song effortlessly sets out the Sertraline stall from the opening moment. Almost impossibly technical and superbly produced, this is a fucking brilliant song.
‘Mean To Me II’ is next, and is a kind of sequel to a song off the 2017 EP “Guilty”. More mid paced than the opener, this song gives the players of instruments time to shine, with some freakishly delicate and complicated guitar work involving distended harmonics and choppy, deadly riffing and Lizzie swapping between a guttural roar and a blank eyed, lost little girl voice before they all launch into one of the finest middle eights I have ever heard. We are talking goosebumps and sex wee everywhere. Gallons of sex wee everywhere. The carpets are ruined. All my pants are utterly destroyed. I haven’t seen Lord Igor Egbert Bryan Clown-Shoe Cleavage-Hoover since he disappeared down the stairs just in front of the sex wee tsunami. This is a fucking brilliant song.
We are three songs in with ‘2205’ and my enthusiasm for Sertraline is beginning to look like a localised ecological disaster. Sir Zeusington Zeus, KCVG, VC, MM, DFC and Bar is looking unfavourably upon the mad, half drunk human cavorting wildly around the room, despite the fact he has been permitted to sleep ON MY BED and Hodgson Biological-Warfare is shouting at me because he got hit full in the face by sex wee and he doesn’t like it. Mrs Dark Juan is also displeased, because a) the carpets are ruined, b) the carpets are RUINED, c) she can’t find Igor either and d) she’s just remembered it was my turn to make tea and I have been seduced by Lizzie and Sertraline. Rather more uplifting in lyrical content than the previous two songs, it slides effortlessly into the lugholes and gives your poor, drug addled brain what can charitably be described as a right good seeing to. This is a fucking brilliant song.
Song four is ‘Screaming For Sleep’ and it’s more fast paced than ‘2205’, but again the musicianship is remarkable in its richness and complexity. Another song with a fucking amazing middle eight and frankly Sertraline are draining me dry, right now. The pressure wave has just blown the front door off the hinges and the street is filling up. There’s animals and furniture heading in all directions. Mrs Dark Juan is screaming about divorce again. Send help. Please. This is a fucking brilliant song.
Fifth and final song is ‘Isolation’ and frankly there is no hope left for humanity. Even though I am now a dried and withered husk, the sex wee just keeps flowing and a number of countries are reporting seismic activity due to the weight of fluid. Iceland is particularly worried because they are having lots of tremors and think that the emanation of millions of gallons of sex wee might have destabilised their already energetic geological fault and that there may be a volcanic eruption. There’s talk of Dark Juan being put on trial for crimes against humanity at The Hague. My defence is literally going to be, “ITS ALL SERTRALINE’S FAULT!!!!!!” This song is notable for the fact that Sertraline don’t seem to give a fuck who they are hurting anymore and just go in for the kill like the seasoned assassins they are. Everything wonderful about Sertraline is distilled into this one piece of musical mastery. There’s polyrhythms. There’s guitar riffs that only 18-fingered mutants can play. There’s syncopation and drumming that can only be performed by supercomputers thanks to fractured time signatures and the vocalist reaching ever further into her vocal range. And the ending is sublime. Fractured riffs play over a single held keyboard note and the virtuosity of guitarists Mike and Tom, and bassist and Keeper Of The Sacred Sauce Hendo is displayed in such a way that I am never picking up a stringed instrument again. There’s no point. This is a fucking brilliant song.
This was supposed to be a quick review. Instead it has turned into another 1000 word epic. Sorry, not sorry. Also, why the hell aren’t Sertraline ABSOLUTELY FUCKING MASSIVE RIGHT NOW?
Buy Sertraline records from now on otherwise I am going to find and execute every single last fucking one of you.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System thinks Sertraline are fucking brilliant and offers them a prostrated 10/10 because they are just too awesome to be mere mortals. Maybe I have found my gods at last. A contender for record of the year, in my humble opinion.
01. Inside Out
02. Mean To Me II
04. Screaming For Sleep
Lizzie – Vocals
Mike – Guitar
Tom – Guitar
Hendo – Bass (keeper of the famous Northern relish?)
Si – Drums
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of ‘Dark Juan’ and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.