Courtesans - 'Better Safe Than Sober' EP (Self-Released) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Ben Hughes   
Wednesday, 22 February 2017 04:30

Courtesans - Better SafeLondon four piece Courtesans describe their music as "pop lying on the train track". Following the release of acclaimed debut long player '1917' this all female four piece have upped the ante with their new EP. They aim to take the dying carcass of pop music and inject it with a 21st century twist of goth-tinged rock.


Courtesans want men in this dying industry to look up to women as musicians, and in turn want women to stand up and show they can deliver as much, if not more than their male counterparts. 'Better Safe Than Sober' goes a long way to prove that they are one of the few doing it right.


'Better Safe Than Sober' is five tracks of dark and sexy doom pop, atmospheric and completely enrapturing from the off. The dark and haunting opener 'Mesmerise' builds on a dreamy, goth tinged verse, the delicate vocals of Sinead Le Bella adding to the ethereal feel over a lonesome bass line. Layered vocal harmonies come into great effect to take the chorus up a level. The following diatribe outro is spat with venom.


In contrast 'Feel The Same' has almost poetic, spoken word verses delivered over trip-hop beats that bring to mind Kate Tempest jamming with Tricky and help to give an edginess and street suss to this bands sound. Guitars kick in for the chorus and again take the song up, to the band's I guess, signature sound.

The introspective 'John Doe' follows the struggles of modern every day life and the desire to break away from the monotony of the rat race. The beat and the dark atmospheric feel bringing to mind NIN version of 'Dead Souls'. 



If you loved Brody Dalle's Spinnerrete album then you will dig 'Knowhere':  it’s cut from the same black cloth. Dark and brooding goth tinged pop delivered with a ton of attitude. Its tale of addiction will caress the deepest depths of your soul.  'The Tide' concludes this EP in dramatic style. It is an alt rock masterpiece, a massive sounding chorus comes on like The Cranberries as it drops again into spoken words and beats.


Courtesans are one of only a few current all female bands that truly deliver something fresh and exciting. Believe you me I wish there was more, but as the male dominated rock world continues that way, it's bands like Courtesans that are proving that they are here to shake things up.


Lyrical diatribes, confessionals and life observations, Courtesans are edgy, pushing boundaries and sounding ever relevant with their contrasting soundscapes. It's nice to hear a band doing something different and not just following the latest rock fads. Courtesans are not sheep, Courtesans are wolves, embrace them, embrace their EP and reap the rewards.


'Better Safe Than Sober' is out now.


Courtesans play The Lending Room in Leeds tonight (Wednesday 22 February), Bannerman’s in Glasgow tomorrow, Ivory Blacks in Glasgow on Friday and Think Tank in Newcastle Upon Tyne on Saturday.  Future live dates include:


Friday 3 March – Southend-on-Sea, Chinnery’s

Friday 17 March – Southampton, Talking Heads

Saturday 1 April – Manchester, The Ruby Lounge

Friday 5 May – Brighton, Green Door Store


They also appear at the Mosborough Festival, at the Don Valley Bowl in Sheffield on Saturday 3 June.


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