Words Joel Parnell.
The first thing to be said about DEAD is that they make an unGodly amount of noise for a band with 2 members and no guitar. Having seen them live a couple of times I can vouch that they well and truly back it up in the flesh as well as on record. It’s that sheer, monolithic volume where you can actually feel the vibration from the bass drum punching you in the sternum with every off-kilter slam of the drummer’s foot. The tiny hairs on your arms and face stand to attention as if awe-stricken by the deep hum and brooding swell of the muff afflicted bass guitar. The conventional addition of an electric guitar simply isn’t needed here. There’s no room.
Captains Of Industry opens with an extended drum intro typical of the ‘Melvins’ school of punk rock, which is probably the institution at which DEAD received most of their education. Dark, menacing vibes, off-kilter song structure and booming, thunderous vocals are all prevalent on the albums opening track ‘Fools Will Get You Everywhere’. With a lyric like “We prefer the nice people / We prefer the kind people / This one’s a monster, Off with his head!” and song titles like ‘Robert Plant: Shhh’ you get the impression that while DEAD clearly are serious about what they do, they do it with a tongue firmly planted in cheek.
There is a strong DIY atmosphere about the album and you could easily pass it off to a naive friend as a record that was released 20 years ago, which is not at all a bad thing; DEAD know what they’re about and they exhibit it accurately and effectively on this record. Having said that, I feel like this is definitely an album you need to experience via some kick ass sound system or failing that, headphones. It’s not that the album requires this treatment to sound great but that an ordinary laptop speaker simply isn’t going to do it the justice it deserves. Turn it the fuck up and let it engulf you.
Some of the most interesting moments on Captains Of Industry are the creepy as fuck interludes between songs. DEAD obviously realise that it’s important to add dynamic to an album this unrelentingly heavy to avoid losing the attention of the listener. They also obviously realise that the most disturbing sound in the world is the noise a Jack-In-The-Box makes when you’re winding it up. Brilliant.
If you’ve worked up a taste for something a bit heavier and stranger than regular old metal, give this album a go. While Captains Of Industry isn’t absolutely groundbreaking in it’s stylistic approach, it does stand out as a gem within its genre and is well worth a listen for fans of Scul Hazzards, Melvins, The Jesus Lizard etc…
DEAD – Captains Of Industry is OUT NOW through WeEmptyRooms.
Available as a digital download and limited edition CD and vinyl packaging.