The French act Venin Carmin have returned with their second album "Constant Depression" released in May 2020 on the independent label Seja Rrecords from the Netherlands. After their acclaimed debut in 2015 with "Glam Is Gone", this new album, released on vinyl, is again full of post-punk / coldwave catchy tunes. The front cover features the painting ‘Lucretia’ by Niek Hendrix.

 From the start of their sophomore album with the track "It's Gonna Be Wild", we are introduced to their personal take on post-punk with their somber synths. While on "Sidekick Punchline, more electronic and darkwave elements have been added in the mix. The playful track "Willkommen To The Masquerade" that follows had a video made for it featuring the trios main female members Lula and Valentine in similar mood. Their dark pop is best expressed on "Twinkle In The Eye" and on the title track "Constant Depression" the band sets their attitude of today with lyrics such as “Unsatisfaction nowadays, constant depression anyway and nothing gets better…”. The first side ends with "For The Sublime" another fine example of their experimental, minimal electro pop.

 The second side of the album starts with another great track "Outsiders", where post-punk is mixed with synth pop and new wave, as on the next rack "Problem Issue" that sounds like it jumped straight out of the 80’s. We have a change in atmosphere on "Abysses" where only synths and vocals create a dark moody tune. Then on "Sketches" they return in full form with a bass that paves the way of the composition. The playful element returns on "Waterlillies" with its minimalistic pop structure. On "Dreaming Valentine" we have seductive vocals over a mid-tempo synth track with nice additions of bass. The last track "Berceuse" (Lullaby), is an instrumental and as the title reveals, it is a dark lullaby as if taken from a haunting childhood memory.


Review by Nick Drivas