‘Passionate Shit’ is the debut E.P. release from London based ‘The Cheek of Her’ A.K.A. singer Helen Dooley and co. They started out as a duo in 2010 and have gradually become a fully fledged band along the way. In many ways it’s a straight up 90s rock revival record, all guts and ballsy angst a la Skunk Anansie.
Opening track ‘Free’ is all about kicking a no good partner to the kerb and how ‘I am enough’, Alanis would be proud. Girrrl power indeed. It’s a guitar driven number that packs plenty of vocal punch and set the tone for the rest of this five track E.P.
‘Lies’ for me is the best song on this E.P. It’s a spunky, unapologetic rocker that could be Gwen Stefani in her No Doubt heyday. It’s a catchy, angry number that leaves the listener battered into aural submission. Dooley’s vocal soars here and allied with a spiky guitar arrangement delivers a quality track.
Like any debut it doesn’t always work. ‘27’ deals with musicians who have checked out of existence at the same age. It’s a clunky lowlight for me and plays more like a list than a fully developed idea. That said there are enough positives here to outweigh any complaints.
The band makes no bones that their sound is an attempt to escape from the saturation of ‘Pop / RnB leotard wearing blandness’. There’s rawness to the vocal here that is never going to be confused with the polished autotune of the latest model off the reality show production line.
The E.P. is awash with references to doomed love affairs and not caring about the one who got away. It never gets maudlin but rails against missed opportunity. They’re a pleasantly angry sounding group who have created an interesting debut.
Review by Niall Healy