Album review: Siiickbrain – My Masochistic Mind

Californian alt. electro songstress Siiickbrain plumbs oceans of fragile beauty and pounding anxiety from My Masochistic Mind...

Album review: Siiickbrain – My Masochistic Mind
Sam Law

I’m electric, I am a machine,’ sings Caroline Miner, breathlessly close to the end of her fascinating debut LP, ‘built to break down all in front of me…’ It’s an inadvertently telling moment of self-definition. Even by the fluid standards of 2023, the artist better known as Siiickbrain feels like a spectre, sometimes, caught between the worlds of airy alt. pop and thumping dark electro, but the 11 songs of My Masochistic Mind bring into focus what she’s all about – and why we should care.

It’s not, as her press materials might have you believe, because she’s at the cutting edge of ‘alternative metal’. Hell, you’d struggle to pick out screaming guitar line or to string together more than a handful of vocals snarled in anger. Rather, songs like Three Eyes and Parasite offer a map of Caroline’s titular troubled subconscious, charted with bassy synths, snappy electronic percussion and beguilingly poetic lyrics, often presented as a runaway stream-of-consciousness.

Sonically, the big picture sits far closer to the worlds of pop and EDM than anything in traditionally heavy music. That’ll doubtless turn off the same listeners who’ve balked at the recent work of collaborators and tourmates Maggie Lindemann, WILLOW, Machine Gun Kelly and Bring Me The Horizon. But there is a darkness at the heart of Siiickbrain that crackles in the high-voltage bludgeon of LIAR. And, by the time the beautifully simple lead melody of closer Emergency cuts through a weave of fuzzy doubt and whispered menace, it’s impossible to deny that our weirdo world is exactly where she belongs.

Verdict: 3/5

For fans of: Maggie Lindemann, Skrillex, Bring Me The Horizon

My Masochistic Mind is out on 1 December via Lowly

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