Qlowski followed up their 2016 debut EP with an even stronger offering in Pure as Fear.
The vocal duo of Michele Tellarini and Cecilia Corapi left their hometown of rural Italy to bolster their careers in London. Where they are joined by Davide Rossi and Francesco Salomone. They’ve refined their sound and created an intricate mix of post punk, where the darkness of goth and the lightheartedness of twee constantly collide in a thrilling mashup. Notable comparisons include Aussie Punk, Killing Joke and CBGBs, but the experimental nature of their music makes it sure that listeners aren’t quite sure what they’re in for.
The opening “Taking Control” starts with a blistering rhythm of grinding guitars and stabbing staccato vocals, with a midpoint that breaks down into a catchy bass and drum groove with a space-y synth exploration. Qlowski knows how to play with expectations, yet is not afraid to throw a wrench in the mix to freshen things up.
“Golden Boy” channels The Cure with its somber vocals and wide synth soundscapes. The former creates a somber, gloomy atmosphere while the latter soars up with an angelic ascending harmony. This creates a contrast that provides depth and unpredictability to a song that feels familiar at first glance.
This tug of war motif appears again in “Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder”, where Corapi’s high pitched vocals teeter over playfulness and delirium. On one hand her singing feels carefree and full of vigor, but there’s a minor tension that lingers from the unnerving keys and the shattering guitar lines, both of which makes for a tense and dynamic listen.
The EP ends with “Needle”, where the abrasive tones and the rambunctious rhythm of the first track resurface. Twee harmonies and jagged razor-edged guitars outline this track with Tellarini’s chaotic singing, one that feels crazed from the start yet escalates even further into lunacy. The narrator’s obsession over a needle gradually consumes him over time. It’s tense and sharp-witted all throughout, a great end to a bold and provocative collection.
Qlowski captures the beauty and chaos of post-punk in their second EP. Pure as Fear is available via Maple Death Records and other streaming services.