A review of VR SEX’s new album: Cyber Crimes

VR SEX is Andrew Clinco’s California-based synthwave/post-punk project. You might know Clinco better as “Deb Demure,” his androgynous and alien alter-ego he puts on for his band Drab Majesty (alongside Alex Nicolaou aka Mona D). I’ll preface this review by saying that I’ve been a long-time intense fan of Drab Majesty and Deb/Clinco, but for some reason never really got into VR SEX. I wish I could give you an excusable reason why, but nothing comes to mind. I simply never got around to it. And boy, what a mistake that was!

I got word of this new VR SEX album, released April 30th 2021, in the midst of moving, and thus was not able to get to my computer and write this review immediately. But now? Now it’s time!

I listened to Cyber Crimes on loop while driving across Florida, letting it simmer and dwell in my mind. As with anything of Clinco’s that I’ve listened to, this album managed to both encompass and subvert genre. In a desperate attempt to pin it down, I looked at the tabs on bandcamp for the album. It states: “punk, acid-punk, ambient, post punk, synth punk.” Now where does that leave us? Well, there’s synths involved. Jot down “synths,” and we’re halfway there. Post punk works, but, dear S&S reader, at this point I’m sure you’re familiar with exactly how broad the “post punk” label can be. I do like this label of synth punk. Acid punk, post punk, synth punk. Punk is repeated here. And punk is very, surely present in this album. It’s intense. It’s driving. It has hints of rock n roll.

Something else notable and delightful about this album is how it managed to sound both fresh and vintage. I can’t quite pin down what 80s band it reminded me of. Clan of Xymox, perhaps? Some of the less popular Jesus and Mary Chain tracks? Uh…The Damned? Even Sisters of Mercy popped into my head. None of these are apt descriptors. I encourage you to give it a listen and let me know what you think this sounds like. Or, perhaps, it’s inappropriate to try to compare VR SEX to the legends of old. As I said, it’s not just vintage, it’s fresh. Very fresh.

My favorite track on Cyber Crimes has got to be “Rock N Roll Death.” This is a song that I fantasize about dancing to at a club (once the pandemic subsides). It’s hard. It’s fast. It’s danceable. It’s rocks. It rolls.

I also thoroughly enjoyed “Dog Complex.” I know I said comparisons to past bands is perhaps not appropriate, but I can’t help but mention Bauhaus for this one. It’s dark. I’d even dare to say this track is on the gother side of the post punk spectrum. His vocals go a bit harsh here. The song itself is harsh. And I love that.

To finish off my review, let’s talk about this album art for a second! (Note: if you follow me as an S&S writer at all, you’ll know that I’ve got a passion for album art and have a few posts about it to my name up prior). Is vaporwave still a thing? Because I want to call this art “acidic vaporwave.” If that makes any sense. Anyways. The vibe of this art matches the album very well. It’s grainy, divided between a harsh green and a dark black-and-white. There’s meat. Why is there meat? Hell if I know, but it’s visceral, just like the tracks. The pixel-y “VR SEX” around the border comes in clutch with that vintage 80s feel. Honestly, just stare at that album art for 5 minutes before listening to the album and see if you can capture a feeling, a prediction of sorts of how the album will sound. I bet it’ll be pretty accurate!

In conclusion, I’m in love with this album and would absolutely recommend it. Clinco delivers.

Review of Warsaw Pact : Extended Play 1

Band: Warsaw Pact

Album: Extended Play 1

Label: Self Release

Members: Ivan Delint , Ludwig



Warsaw Pact is the creative vision of LA based Ivan Delint and Ivan Ludwig. I first became aware of them by an outstanding remix on the Antipole album of the song Someday 45. The first thing I said to Ivan when I heard this EP is this sounds very New York living in LA. A sound of what if The Jesus and Mary Chain quit shoegaze and went post punk in Andy Warhols loft. You can really hear the post punk influence but less the popular motif of classics like Joy Division/Bauhaus, more the resurgence from Interpol/The Editors. I think the other thing that really grabbed me was how a lot of Post Punk adds layers of production and clarity to what the elders had done before to create a new sound. Warsaw Pact has attacked the equation from the other side. They started at Interpol and stripped it back with a Lo-Fi edge. The bass lines are weighted and thick, the guitars are syncopated and dance on top. It’s the big buzzing wall of fuzz created by the additional guitar and Ivan’s out front vocals that create the effect I think of as Warsaw Pact.

Emotionally what I am hearing here is an erratic and twisting story of confusion and discovery. Maybe this is what reminded me of the lyrical and cadence delivery of Jim Reid. Knowing you have something to say but doing it with that lashing trauma of youth where you just can’t find the words to express yourself. It’s actually a much more difficult emotion to capture as a song writer than you might think. It’s something I relate to and can appreciate burying myself in through someone else’s eyes. It makes me feel that Ivan still has another voice waiting to be revealed on future albums that is not so influenced by the music that shaped him.

We are somewhere between an album and an EP here at 8 tracks. I found the way the tracks were listed really interesting. With a 1st track called “Introduction” and the 4th called “Interlude I” Almost a nod to an opera or soundtrack flow of the music. Here are the songs that grabbed me most.

DeadVlei – Right in with that driving thunder bass and quick chord changes. This song more than others gave me that The Chain feel. With that back ground repeated cadence and echo washed vocals seething with intensity and edge without using volume to get the effect.

Lights – I think this track definitely has the most curbside appeal. It bounces around the puddles of a rainy dark street. Ivan’s vocals sit to the back a little more and the effect of having the bass to the front really adds a weight and power to them. I like the spoken word background breakdown. Lends a sort of art house feel to this song. If a video is shot for the album this is the song i picture first .

Midnight Cure – Very exposed in this song. The vocals charge to the front spinning around. This song is a person lost in a labyrinth wandering through the endless passages. The drums on this song have a much crisper drive in the snare snaps and it helps create motion and urgency. I want to know the rest of the story in this song, maybe I will ask Ivan in the interview.

Overall this record is the capture of a moment in time. The guitar work is stellar and puts me in mind a bit of Antipole. I love the displaced feelings, I love the New York Art House cliche’ feel. I even love that emotion of feeling lost that reminded me of New Order Movement in a where do we go from here way. However I think this also sets a bar for Ivan and company, I want another record, I want the clarity and focus of vision for the next one. I want to hear how this story ends.