Goth pop is arguably the last thing you’d expect to hear blaring from a place like Livingston, but that’s the sound of GRAVELLE’s Restless Dreams in a decaying nutshell. The duo insist their name is ‘pronounced like the dirt’, and that juxtaposition between spelling and pronunciation, like a flower stomped into the mud, aptly describes their new EP.
‘Into The Fog’ is a mesmerising collision of gloomy 80s synth-pop, slasher film score, and evil industrial noise, which sounds something like John Carpenter and Trent Reznor remixing Gerard McMann’s ‘Cry Little Sister’ from The Lost Boys soundtrack. ‘Rusted Flowers’ crosses punk guitars with haunting vocals and cold Crystal Castles-esque synths, and ‘While I Sleep’ partners throbbing electronics with shimmering shoegaze and sorrowful vocals. But the most impressive song is the lead single, ‘Forever’. The guitars are catchy, hard-edged and tinged with sadness, the lyrics are vivid, and the danceable synth-pop chorus (‘I don’t want to live forever, I just want to be remembered… by you’) has ‘hit’ written all over it.
GRAVELLE have nailed their creepy aesthetic too, and their accompanying short films, filled with horror homages (including a haunted videotape, blood-drenched faces, and vampirism), perfectly capture the band’s gothic style. Restless Dreams is a filth-encrusted gem.