Sadness & Complete Disappointment – ‘GBH’

By Fiachra Johnston

It’s been a hot minute since Sadness & Complete Disappointment have brought us a nice helping of doom and gloom. The English prophets of everything plaintive have returned after two years with a line-up restructuring and a trio of new tracks that delve deep into self doubt and abject. With more depth, and some interesting adaptations to their style, you can forget Anarchy in the UK; this is Melancholy in the UK’s time.

Instrumentally, there’s been a lot more variety introduced throughout. The opening of ‘GRIP’ harkens back to Alice in Chains in its droning grunge guitars, before breaking out into a very 90’s solo. It’s something of a surprise from a group with more modern influences in their rock sound, but it’s hardly unwanted, and the sharper mixing and production throughout these three tracks compared to their last release make all the brash guitars feel much more at home than you would expect. The bass from co-vocalist Kira Snow lends to this grindhouse style, the heavy backing riffs putting some heft into the otherwise ethereal vocals of drummer Esmee Baker.

And ethereal they are. The return of Baker’s Amy Lee-evoking singing carries the dirge that is ’Barb’. Somewhat reserved compared to its opening half, it bursts into wailing guitar riffs from Meg Mehta with sudden fury, the sadness replaced by mournful rage. ‘High’ brings back some of the energy of previous EP ‘Fun’, driven by the cannonfire drums of Baker, and ending with a suitably chunky bass riff and a very glam guitar solo. It’s almost melodramatic in its execution, as is much of the EP, but every member delivers here; the chaotic energy of its closing minute belying how much of a doom-tinged release ‘GBH’ is.

‘GBH’ is a short record, but it makes for another respectable entry into the group’s discography. While it’s a typically morose trio of tracks, their deep melancholy makes it no less intense of a listen. With some refined instrumentals and tighter production all around, it’s clear SCD have grown over the last two years, and while their moods may be on the downward spiral, the quartet’s momentum is only speeding up.

FIACHRA JOHNSTON

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