Winding transgressive post-punk and experimental art rock together like two ends of a fraying rope, Erotic Secrets of Pompeii bring together disparate elements - from industrial to world music. The vocals descend from baritone drawl to manic yelp as the music pivots from catchy groove-based euphony to discord and angulation.
ESOP’s songs are inhabited by grotesque characters and are charged with unsettling Lynchian imagery, they drip with symbols and slogans, holding a mirror up to both society and the self. Their spirited live performances incorporate Old Testament fervour and man's earthy appetites.
The band’s debut album ‘Witness in the House of Pox’ (2019) served up an unhinged sonic squall incorporating funk, Germanic cabaret, and even breakbeat, while exploring the transgressions of authority figures, the dangers of masculinity, and the decomposition of the self.
2020 has seen a dramatic line-up change within the band, and with that a vibrant new energy has been injected into their most recent single releases.
ESOP is Thomas Hawtin (tonsils & pelvis), Tom Hackwell (textures & penumbra), Sean Jones (string theory), Julian Port (bottom end), Alex Auld (shamanic wallop pots).
"Very few people can pull off IDLES’ signature vitriol, or HMLTD’s glam romp, and combine it with a chaos all their own, but Erotic Secrets… do that very well indeed. Gloriously, in fact."
"A fresh post punk band which doesn't hold back its proclivity to explore a few of the genre's equivalent styles, and implement more than a few diverse elements to its emphatic sound, resulting in something thoroughly artful and agitated."
"Erotic Secrets... have managed to create some of the most chaotic, disconcerting, fun and positively danceable music of the year."
Independent Music News
"Exquisitely visceral stuff, a bloody spotlit, guilt ridden series of askew dioramas of our sins that feel like a nucleic acidic stir of artists, auteurs (and dark visionaries) like Charles Bukowski, David Cronenberg, Robert Mapplethorpe, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Tropical Fuck Storm and The Dead Kennedys."
"Guitar sounds as wiry as bedsit coathangers, a bass line that grinds out its chug-heavy gutturals… it’s sporadic and crass and as ugly and lean as any mid to late 80’s Bad Seeds."
Rats on the Run
"You get a sense the band have taken advantage of fully exploring every creative corner they can find, they draw and stretch their musical sound to resemble a theatre of artful expression. With grungy post punk slapping the lyrics all over your face as the band tells you their new story. But at the same time you catch flashes of dance beats at the foundation of the record, which builds the momentum of absorbing layers."
Off the Hook
"'They Wouldn’t Let Me Write My Book' is immediately one of our fave tracks to come out of Bristol so far this year."
The Bristol Gig Guide
Fresh on the Net
"Like Gary Numan in a horror-filled nightmare jamming with Tom Waits and Franz Ferdinand."
Trust The Doc