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'Element of Sex' is the latest album from Sick N' Beautiful. Hailing from Italy, or as press blurb boldly declares them to be, "the biggest Rock band on this side of Alpha Centauri", they're constituted by "five aliens whose shuttle BFS9000 had to make an emergency landing in the urban canyons of Rome in 2013." Er... right... we're dealing with some sort of Gwar wannabes here, then? A quick glance at promos pics reveals their image to be one that seems to revel in a more colourful Gwar/Lordi aesthetic. Listening to 'Element of Sex', however, their music lacks the witty satire of the late Dave Brockie's outfit, and the general entertainment factor and pizzazz of the onetime Finnish Eurovision victors.

In a nutshell, Sick N' Beautiful's sonic M.O. offers up that of, in their own words, "Industrial Hard Rock contaminated by Metal and Electropop". Simple as. Songs are likeable enough within this stylistically fused framework, but do become a little plodding as the album progresses with more of the same... followed by more of the same... followed by yet more of the same. The compositional flair that's teased by both the band's image and press blurb is lacking here.

Musicianship-wise, this is solid enough (albeit the production/mix is a little too bass-biased for its own good at times), but it's more often pedestrian than not, with very few standout moments. Frontwoman Herma's singing is likeable throughout, but she seems to have under-utilised the full range of her voice. She occasionally veers into histrionic territory at the high end of her voice, but these moments are all too few. More of this would've added more of a quirkiness to the band's songs, that might've helped elevate them into the kind of expectations promised by their image and the over-zealous blurb.

Talking of the blurb again, the press sheet accompanying this promo details a track order that bears virtually no concurrence with the actual order each song appears on the album. There are no excuses here. A sloppy mistake. Whatever order these songs are supposed to appear, they fall short of the "orgasmic groovy Rock dance hymns" that are promised. Definitely an above average album, and enjoyable in places, but I can't help but feel that Sick N' Beautiful need to be experienced live, with the costumes and performance flair, to fully appreciate what they do. I'm sure the music would be taken to a whole new entertainment level in such a context.
Rosary Lane Records
Review by Mark Holmes
29th June 2018
1) Fire True
2) Megalomaniacal
3) All Wanna Go To Heaven
4) Hellawake
5) Slam!
6) HeXxX (The Element of Sex)
7) Cryptid
8) New Witch 666 (The Rising)
9) Heart December (Gates II)
10) C+mmunion
"The compositional flair that's teased by both the band's image and press blurb is lacking here."