The Deadmen – Crystal – Audio

The US dark-rock band The Deadmen released their eponymous LP yesterday.

The Deadmen - eponymous LP

The Deadmen – eponymous LP

A ten track, roughly thirty six minutes, album (available via Eight Gang Switch) of superlative compositions.

Reflective of the realities of the journey of life with its ups and downs The Deadmen deliver music that has a serious demeanour, which is also able to find lustre in every rise and fall as they provide tracks that contains an impressive songwriting and performance ability. The underlying sombre mood is created through the anchoring of a brooding bass / percussion combination as the guitars tread on emotive melodies whilst the multi-layered vocals soar through the room in captivating harmonies discovering the listener wiping away tears from the corner of the eyes.

Having written all the above of the dour countenance of the LP, there is perhaps some inevitability that my selection from the album would be the the sixth track – the idiosyncratic rocking Crystal – a narrative of drug addiction – that is unlike anything else on the album.

I do advise grabbing hold of the LP and allow yourself plenty of time,  in a quiet darkened room, to fully enjoy the album with sharp objects and ropes safely out of reach as the full magnitude of the release seeps in to the marrow-bone.


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Ashley Reaks – Before Koresh – LP Review

Ashley Reaks is a prolific artist and music creator with much to comment on the world around and surfacing last month was his latest LP – Before Koresh.

Ashley Reaks - Before Koresh - artwork

Ashley Reaks – Before Koresh – artwork

Opening the ten track album which features numerous collaborative musicians, is the title track Before Koresh an acerbic commentary setting the scene for the following thirty five minutes of the release. Ashley Reaks is a deft exponent of illustrative thought process as the material relates not so much to the Branch Davidians rather a scathing statement of the status-quo.

The Dustman is a fantastical fairy-tale set to nursery rhyme tempo, giving the track a chilling presence that raises the hairs on the arms in alertness.

Next is Wearside Jack, which confabulates disco-groove with vocals askew, giving the piece a disturbing context that calls the audience to awaken their brain and grapple with the LP.

Following is Gleaming Cinders which combines scattered high pitched electronic keys with a dusty vocal that gives the piece a spacey feel that catches the ears off balance in an experimental thread of composition.

Crystal closes out the first half of Before Koresh in a continuum of looped electronics, prior to being joined by a poetic spoken lyric that crashes against the instrumentation giving the piece the feeling of life faced with a sheer cliff of inaccessibility and is my pick of the release for its ability to speak of divisions and exclusions. The title reflects of the haves and the have-nots with a plastic champagne, the choice of plastic money, whilst challenging the listener to reflect of the world around as stark commentary, which reflects of a world taking pictures of abuse to be first on a social media page, ignoring the reality in-front of the screen as the closing lyric icily commentates.

The longest track is Hyper-Diseasy, which runs at coming on to seven minutes, which despite its length does not slacken the taught ties binding the listener, submerging the ears into a troubled trance as juxtaposed rhythms  and instrumentation collide against each other as distanced vocals echo across the room.

You may be wondering where we are in Before Koresh – track seven is Mr Barton And The Squirrels which sits in stark contrast to the track before, with sixty eight seconds of waterfall interspersed with a lyric which minds of Betjeman.

Opening with reversed sounds Inch Perfect combines the floating textures of much of the album with an experimental thematic.

The penultimate track is I Want To Get A Celebrity Pregnant – which is a superlative statement of the mindset of the ’10s and worth the price of the album on its own.

Closing out Before Koresh is Hell And Back Again, which provides context for the visual artistry of Ashley Reaks in aural form.

Before Koresh – Ashley Reaks is available on iTunes.*

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