Natalie Pryce is a band from Glasgow and this is their debut album. If Natalie Pryce was an actress, though, she would be German, cast in Touch of Evil and her name would be Marlene Dietrich. Both music and film come to you in monochrome, suffused in a dark fifties’ demi-monde exuding a barely concealed sexuality and a love that dare not speak its name. Like Touch of Evil’s magnificent opening crane shot, “…and other tales” is recorded in one take. Once pressed onto vinyl it just rolls out of the Green Door Studios, down Argyle Street and into town for yet another Saturday night out.
Vocalist Mark Swan, whose brooding presence owes more to Anthony Perkins’ Norman Bates than Orson Welles’ Hank Quinlan, sings of women and men, their names chiselled into the headstones of all bar one of the record’s thirteen tracks. He recounts sinister tales of love and hate and of the darkness and light that envelops them, howling at the moon in a voice which meets somewhere on the crossroads between Alan Vega, Davids Thomas and Byrne and Nick Cave. Like Cave’s before them these songs are also infused with sex, religion and redemption. And like Cave’s Birthday Party, their vehicles are welded together from the hulking sheet metal of garage punk and dirty blues. They are wanton songs possessing all the gallus strut and insouciance of the city of their birth. In Touch of Evil, Dietrich’s gypsy-madam Tana predicted that Hank Quinlan’s future was all used up. On this evidence Natalie Pryce’s is burning bright.