Sounding like a long-lost artifact from the 80s, the debut album from three-year-old London band S.C.U.M. is icy, detached and perfectly suited to autumn's overcast days.
Singer Thomas Cohen sounds a bit like Peter Murphy's kid brother. He keeps the lyrics spare and obtuse, delivering them with a sharpness that's antithetical to the airy synths swirling through the songs. The airtight rhythm section - drummer Melissa Rigby and bassist Huw Webb, brother of Horrors bassist Rhys - provides unshakeable structure, even when the band is at its most atmospheric.
And when S.C.U.M. get atmospheric, as on the ballad Paris, they pull out all the stops: tortured lyrics, twinkling piano, windstorm-evoking keyboards. It might be too overwrought for many, but for those of us who like drama, this is a fine introduction.
Top track: Amber Hands