Pariah – Safehouses EP Pariah – Safehouses EP

Pariah - Safehouses EP

There was a time around 2000 when Mark Tom and Travis were at the height of their powers, that turning on the television and tuning into ‘Kerrang!’ would usually guarantee you stumbling upon some sort of eager, over energetic and not very good pop-punk band. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing in principle, really – The market that Blink 182 cornered was extremely popular at the time and Kerrang was probably the station most suited to show such angst ridden nuggets. What was grinding though, and what did outstay its’ welcome- was the fact that for all the Blink 182s, Sum 41s and Offsprings there were, there were fifty samey offshoots that wrote songs about the usual big issues- Going to college, girls, mom and dad being squares, girls, etc. The overall point is that whenever a genre comes around and gets big, and starts taking money- everyone jumps on it. The important thing when considering abandoning hope is to take solace in those who still do the genre proud.

Dubstep doesn’t really have a ‘Kerrang!’, and no-one really uses the TV as an up to date source of new music these days anyway, so that leaves bass-heads with the internetz. While Burial was far from the first person to fly the flag for the genre, it was still Burial that has been a major factor in the success it now enjoys today. Thusly, I can testify that brawling through electronic music sites and web-stores for this stuff can truly be a labour of love. Thankfully coming across someone like Pariah every once in a while genuinely makes it all worthwhile. Pariah released his debut single, Detroit Falls, last year. It was a brilliantly innovative track, and with the notable attention it received, it would be easy to simply churn out an EP of similar stuff. Thankfully Safehouses EP moves away from his debut enough to be original, yet still keeps the good bits.

Vocals play a big part in Pariah’s work, indeed a very track save for one on the EP utilizes them in some form or another. Both Detroit Falls and B side track, Orpheus, featured multiple vocal samples which played a big part in both tracks. It’s surprising to learn though that Arthur Cayzer starts first with vocals, before building the track around the sample. What really sets this stuff apart is the steadfast commitment to melody. Regardless, the results are brilliant. “Prism” is set around a womp womp bassline that on its’ own would sound like a naff effect on a 30 day trial music program, but together with what is presumably an R&B vocal sample and subtle synths in the background, it sounds perfect. “Railroad” is like an IDM infused Burial track, the vocals would certainly not sound out of place in the London dubstepper’s catalogue, whilst the electronics are very reminiscent of electronic nerds Discuss.
The title track is the only cut not to feature vocals, and it proves to be beautiful in its own way. Cayzer saves the chopped diva samples for floating waves of fuzz and atmosphere, seeing the EP out on a contemplative rather than dancefloor poised note.

A solid debut then, and one that sets itself apart in a crowd where such a thing is becoming increasingly difficult. It brings great comfort to know that for every fifty over commercialised, under produced or simply samey dubstep artists- there is one Pariah.

1. The
2. Prism
3. Railroad
4. Crossed Out
5. C-Beams
6. Safehouses

Pariah - Safehouses EP, reviewed by Lemon on 2011-01-24T10:41:23-08:00 rating 3.9 out of 5

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