Full disclosure: Iâ€™ve been an ardent follower of Terror Birdâ€™s synth pop gothics since the debut tape â€śSociopaths Are Glamâ€ť, and their â€śHuman Cultureâ€ť album was one of my favourite albums of 2011. Which is why I picked up whatever 7â€ť singer Nikki Nevver released after-wards, and canâ€™t help but notice that the four tracks of her â€śWaiting For Nothingâ€ť EP are all present on â€śSecret Rituals.â€ť Which means that almost half of this album has been released elsewhere already but hey, the tracks are excellent and the EP, released on Verulamium, is rather hard to come by.
â€śSecret Ritualsâ€ť sees Nikki Nevver without drummer Jeremiah â€“ on her current European tour she is â€śusuallyâ€ť accompanied by other friends on synths and cello [sic!]. Even as a track like the epic â€śCult of Manâ€ť indicates that the songwriting is getting more refined and is generally moving away from electro pop bounce towards protracted introspection, Terror Bird continue to ooze desolate bedroom glamour in vignettes that hit the three-minute mark only once. Each of the tracks sound as if they had been rehearsed in front of a mirror, sung into an invisible microphone. Nikki Nevverâ€™s eccentric stretching of vowels (â€śShee-ee-ee-eeh kissed me-eeâ€ť) has never been more apparent, which sounds a bit contrived at times, fitting the general atmosphere of faked fake perfectly. â€śWaiting For Nothingâ€ť might be the standout track on this album but other tracks, like the dark wave grandeur of â€śIf We Escapeâ€ť or the 109-second ballad â€śIn My Bonesâ€ť, confirm that Terror Bird are at the top of their sleazy game.
â€śSecret Ritualsâ€ť is vinyl only and comes with a download code.