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blacknailcabaret pseudopop
Artist: Black Nail Cabaret
Title: Pseudopop (remastered)
Genre: Dark Pop / Electronica
Release Date: 29th April 2022
Label: Dependent Records

Album Review

After the success of 2020s ‘Gods Verging On Sanity’ album, BLACK NAIL CABARET found themselves looking back and no doubt feeling they’d somehow left part of the family out in the rain. Arriving at a critical pinnacle, with an album of such complex yet simple sophistication, oozing majestically with every sensual and sexual nuance it’s possible to ooze, implies a great leap from perhaps earlier, faltering steps and experiments. But the remarkable thing about the band is, they achieved this level of greatness some time ago, and the pinnacle was first reached, and has been subsequently maintained, as far back as 2015’s ‘Harry Me, Marry Me, Bury Me, Bite Me’. So, it makes absolute sense to remaster and re-release (it was initially self-released) their 2018 album ‘Pseudopop’ on a label with more global outreach.

BLACK NAIL CABARET has all the right elements, in all the right places, but somehow succeed in avoiding the predictable. The song-writing is superb, the melodies often pure pop, but there will always be a twist and turn, something unexpected. Emese’s voice is a thing of absolute beauty, but it can be sharp and cold, sarcastic and mocking - she never just sings a song, she feels her way around it. When she intones “I think I wanna kill you, but I believe in peace, bitch” on ‘Bete Noir’ it’s delivered with a terrifying nonchalance you’d normally attach to cooking pasta or stepping on an ant.

Opener ‘Rhythm X’ is a spooked-up MADONNA vs LADY GAGA, the dirty squelch of ‘Verge On The Creepy’ underpinning a claustrophobic and at times sinister crawl through the peripheries, and ‘Technicolour’ soars beautifully over a sparse, gorgeous backdrop. ‘Icarus’ is a lesson in absolute fragility and weepy melancholy, whereas ‘La Petite Mort’ is 80’s pop gone weird, completely bonkers but delivered deadpan, and knowingly so. And there’s a colossal beat driving closing track ‘Resonance’ through its paces, one of those fabulous songs where absolutely everything happens for a reason and it all comes together just perfectly. Superb. Bonus track ‘The Worm’ struggles slightly to follow, but wriggles sparsely on a skeletal groove and as a stand-alone track is very fine indeed.

The reissue of ‘Pseudopop’, then, is a very worthy second chance for the masses to embrace this clever, darkly sparkling gem of a pop album, and proves once again that BLACK NAIL CABARET has long-since despatched with anything as tedious as influences and genre, and instead follow their own unique path through an uncensored sensuality all their own.


01. Rhythm X
02. Orchid
03. Verge On The Creepy
04. Unrequited Love
05. Technicolour
06. Bete Noir
07. Trigger Happy
08. Icarus
09. 90s
10. La Petite Mort
11. Resonance
12. The Worm (bonus track)


Emese Arvai-Illes
Krisztian Arvai

Website /

Cover Picture

blacknailcabaret pseudopop


Music: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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