Sick n’ Beautiful are a concept outfit with influences ranging from Rob Zombie, to Kiss, alongside many others. Their sound blends metal with industrial pop, and certainly creates something entertaining. Element of Sex is the band’s latest release and while it’s not the easiest to ‘get’ due to the concepts behind the lyrics, it does make for interesting listening.
Opening the album with dramatic flair is ‘Fire True’; a wave of synthesised strings and industrial noise gives way to heavy guitars and curious lyrics. The chorus is catchy and the various samples and subtle electronically produced components fit together, but there is almost too much happening throughout the track.
The LP changes direction with ‘All Wanna Go To Heaven’; it starts slowly with keys that could almost be described as eerie. The guitars and drums here seem to be in the same vein of post hardcore music as Pierce the Veil are, and the vocals fit better with this style of song. The nature of this song is to be repetitive, but the chorus is strong and the varied influences of this song keep things enjoyable.
‘Slam!’ is again heavier, with swaggering drums and a bass line that stands out with it’s clean sound. Layers of varying vocal tracks creates interest, and there is a lot of power and energy in each element of this track. Opening with delicate synths, ‘Heart December’ is a slower, stripped back track. There are only a few components here - futuristic-sounding synths, solid drums, and drawing guitars. The vocal is softer and more tender than the growling on previous tracks, and this song shows how powerful this band can be when they aren’t trying to do too much at once.
‘C*mmunion’ closes the album in much the same way as it was opened - chugging guitars and industrial synths are the focal point here, alongside lyrics that draw inspiration from real life. Sick n’ Beautiful have proved themselves able to write some brilliant choruses and huge riffs, as well as songs of a gentler nature.
Of course, as a concept album there are lyrical elements that are difficult to understand without context, but at face-value this album has some interesting tracks, with a lot going on musically. The differing styles and influences that Sick n’ Beautiful have has resulted in their songs sometimes drastically changing direction after a few minutes, but this clearly works for them, and has produced an album that defies genre boundaries.