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Brighton-based noise-pop duo Peepholes’ debut album gets off to a droney, non-too-appealing start, the bubbling vintage synths we love the band for slowly joined by Katia Barrett’s flat moans that are loud but undecipherable. The following ‘Step One’ is even more jarring, as the pace is quickened and the vocals begin to crack as they edge into the red. But then ‘Caligula’ settles down and gives us the considered ‘Tunnels’, which combines gothic, downbeat techno with end-of-level-boss keys and demonic vocals, still groaning in inaudible fashion but with some deep-rooted melody no less. Thankfully, the rest of the album remains more in this vein – continually weird and impressively noisy for a drums’n’keys setup, but less manic and grating. Peepholes have always been an acquired taste; ‘Caligula’ is dark and challenging but eventually worth the work.

By Sam Little

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