Thursday, November 17, 2011

EP Review: The Sisters of Mercy – Reptile House

The Sisters of Mercy released the Reptile House EP in 1983. Their previously brisk and uptempo songs were replaced by a slow, dingy grind. Opening track Kiss The Carpet starts off with a slow, long, build up before Gary Marx plays the main riff and Andrew Eldritch’s doomy vocals come in. It’s a decidedly unsettling piece of music.

Lights, which follows, is more conventional with a repetitive drum pattern and riff. The arrangement here is relatively sparse giving Eldritch’s vocals plenty of room to breathe. His voice grows in intensity towards the song’s conclusion where he bellows “until the emeralds glisten in the RAIN, RAIN, RAIN, I’m happy here in the RAIN!” After the sinister murk of Valentine, Fix has an even slower, longer build up than before with a sleazy, grinding guitar riff, and an almost whispered vocal.

Final track Burn has a vaguely oriental riff and some seriously distorted vocals. The punishing guitar work here is very effective. This EP distills the essence of early period Sisters of Mercy.