The "Deadbyfiveoclock EP" by Manchester band, Black Market Serotonin offers a musical feast of ideas for the budding listener. The band's sound is hard to pigeon-hole, as it doesn't subscribe to any conventional genre; at times it sounds heavy metal-esque, other times sweet and melodic and others doused in electronic noodling. The band's diverse and challenging sound is encapsulated perfectly on the eponymous opener which introduces crackling electronics that give way to searing stadium guitars. Although the growl of the vocals seems intimidating, it doesn't lose its Northern friendliness as the words unfold. Second track 'The End of History' is exactly what it says on the tin, it is a big, lengthy and impressive slice of experimental avant-garde rock music. It features a focused piano/keyboard interlude in between lyrics which showcases the band's penchant for crafting soundscapes and a haunting atmosphere, the best of their musical ambitions.
"For all the ways that I am wrong, I've worn my heart upon my sleeve" opens 'Revelation One' which is unflinching in it's sonic explorations. Once again, it sounds like two bands battling for supremacy as the technical electronics that build the track give way to a beefy metal guitar riff. It seems that their 'hearts' are not the only things that Black Market Serotonin wear on their sleeves. There are clear influences here, from space rock pioneers, Pink Floyd, to the riff-happy work of heavy metal godfathers, Black Sabbath, to modern day boundary-pushers like Radiohead, Black Serotonin are a band that want to reveal the skill of their craft and their virtuosity as they attempt to create a genre-busting masterpiece. Yet, like these bands, their extended songs appear to border on self-fulfilment and artistic self-indulgence, rather than working to create songs that will resonate with more people than dedicated progressive rock fans.
Overall, Black Market Serotonin are a band with a very distinctive voice, with a definite ideology, to provoke and challenge expectations and whilst they are good at what they do, have a tendency to over-indulge and lose some of the focus and magic of their songs. The "Deadbyfiveoclock EP" is a great introduction to their unique sound; one that I am sure will please progressive rock and cult fans alike.