'Stamp Her Out' is the first EP from Manchester-based electro-poppers Bleachbaby.
EP-opener and title track 'Stamp Her Out' is a frustratingly hit and miss affair. The chorus of pre-fabricated electro beats feels like an odd fit for Louise Turner's raw vocals, even if the occasional, industrial-tinged synth keeps 'Stamp Her Out' crunching along nicely.
The gap between music and vocals only gets wider, as Turner cranks up the attitude for the chorus, only for the music to fall into a puttering electro rut. Next to her growly vocals, the electro backing track feels rather lifeless. 'Stamp Her Out' has the makings of a fun, frivolous and danceable piece of electro-pop fizz but, in terms of music, the chorus is in desperate need of additional spice.
The chorus is also an issue for second track 'She Knows It,' as Bleachbaby once again struggle to find that killer musical hook. Once again, Louise Turner's vocals are the song's strongest asset. Her voice lilts towards a sweetly trilling peak before switching back down, in a neat vocal about-turn that at least ensures 'She Knows It' will be knocking around in your head for a few minutes after you've finished listening.
Like with 'Stamp Her Out,' the verses of 'She Knows It' are more hooky than the choruses. The first verse takes the 'dewy electro-pop' approach, as a pulsing bass chord is overlaid with breathy sound effects. The second verse replaces this sparkling veneer with bright, twinkling chords that keeps 'She Knows It's sheen intact.
However, Bleachbaby have saved the best for last, with the rock and roll sass of 'Control Me.' For once, the chorus doesn't lag behind the verses, as Louise Turner sneers over a fug of guitars and jangly, indie-rock drums. While the guitars would benefit from a classier, more wailing edge, and the drums could be more forceful, 'Control Me' is still a refreshingly full-on take on the sometimes wishy-washy Bleachbaby sound. It's just a shame the other two songs don't display a similar attitude.
This three track effort is one that falls frustratingly short of the mark. When it's electro, it isn't cheesy or Euro-pop, but somewhere vaguely inbetween, and the rock and roll swagger of 'Control Me' could do with a dose of additional riffs. All three songs have the basics right, they just lack that final, going-for-the-throat aggression which, hopefully, Bleachbaby will gain with time.