Here’s a new track to whip you into shape: Passion and Punishment, the new EBM/dance single from Portland’s Pleasure Victim. A heady blend of hedonistic synth and electric guitar-laden industrial pop, teased to an intensity that evokes the splendour of Violator or the funky elements on The Downward Spiral. But more so, there’s a heavy dose of old-school Fad Gadget, not only in sound, but also in the stark black and white imagery on the single’s striking cover. The record is sexy as hell and gleefully teetering toward danger.

Passion and Punishment is pure escapism in the midst of the apocalypse, a time when dance parties seem to be a thing of the past. This dark synth and guitar-laden electropop project is fronted by a mysterious DJ and musician who was active in the Pacific Northwest darkwave and experimental synth scenes before the pandemic. An obsession with 80s synth-pop and goth led to this DIY solo venture. With heady sensuality and lyrical nods to BDSM, Passion and Punishment’s atmosphere conjures up vivid nightclub memories of packed dance floors, fog, and lasers. Memories being the keyword, for the track was self-produced by the band completely in quarantine.

If you need a mental break from the general malaise, this is a great place to start. Close your eyes and remember what it was like to live on the edge.

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