LA based VR SEX is the conceptual cyberpunk collaboration between visionary mercenaries Noel Skum (Andrew Clinco, AKA Deb Demure of Drab Majesty), Z. Oro (Aaron Montaigne of Antioch Arrow/Heroin/DBC) on vocals and drums, and Mico Frost (Brian Tarney) on synths and electric bass.
They claim to be able to give us the cure to (most) societal ills through what they call “Procreation Simulation Reproduction Stimulation”. In other words, a VR SEX program that would allow cathartic and non-productive relief of mankind’s hedonistic desires. Thereby allowing mankind to take the first steps towards a new utopia per Skum’s belief that such control will lead to “the stabilization of society and preservation of our planet by reducing its amount of procreators.”
Performed and home-recorded by Noel Skum, HORSEPLAY is the debut four track EP and introduction to the mythology that is VR SEX. They combine sonic markers associated with Deathrock, Post-punk, Synthpunk, and Ethereal. And they manage to nail it. The entire album is an atmospheric trip through a variety of synthscapes.
A-sides LANDMINE and EVERYTHING’S FINE are undoubtedly the strongest tracks on the album. LANDMINE shows a depth and a gravel to Clinco’s (Noel Skum) voice that I would not have expected from his performance as Deb Demure, and the track is catchy with a great beat and hook. Easily my favorite, it’s also the most deathrock of everything on the EP. EVERYTHING’S FINE is weirdly uplifting and hasn’t failed yet to make me smile.
B-sides A SHOT AT LOVE and THE WATCHER aren’t slouches either, but didn’t catch me as much as the A-sides. A SHOT A LOVE has 90s grunge and garage rock vibes. And a really killer solo towards the end that I don’t ever expect to hear in post-punk music. THE WATCHER is easily the most experimental on the EP, and leaves me wondering if I can expect the same diversity of sound on their upcoming album.
You can pick up HORSEPLAY on Dais records on Bandcamp, and while you’re there preorder VR SEX’s upcoming debut album Human Traffic Jam. There’s still black vinyl available for the album on Dais, but all the pretty collectors vinyl is already gone. But if VR SEX is anything like Drab Majesty, we have a ton of color rereleases to look forward to!
My rating: 3.5/5
OU writer’s average rating: 3.5/5
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