Tuesday, January 29, 2008
CD REVIEW - THE DEAD 60'S
Like the current crop of popular bands utilizing the early eighties - New Wave era (The Killers, Franz Ferdinand), The Dead 60’s comb the late seventies and early eighties to craft their sound. This Liverpool quarter has an altogether different approach in that their songs come off less catchy and sound, well, cool. They roll off in a harsh and smooth delivery, accompanied by sweet but nasal inflected vocals.
Imagine a potent mixture of The Clash, Look Sharp era Joe Jackson, The Specials and a dash of punk all recorded in a dodgy part of town. The debut record has a great combination of reggae, dance, ska and rock music whose lyrics are directed not only at social awareness but at the feet as well.
‘Control This’ sings about integrity and perseverance, You gotta fight some time/On a dead end line. ‘We Get Low’ drives home the imagery of a dead end jobs, Well, it beats being a rent man/Or when you’re down in the roulette’s mine/And as the city casts it’s shadow/We commit the perfect crime/We get high/Before we get low.
The album has a crisp and not overly produced sound, feeling as though it was recorded in the basement of a forgotten club in desperate light. Yet, the album is anything but grim. It bounces along with jangly and spitfire guitar playing and pounding drums. It has a timeless quality, sounding like an early eighties British import.
On ‘Nowhere’ the guitar resembles an old spy film and the vocals sound as though they’re being sung just down the hall, slightly echoing in and mirroring the guitar playing. ‘Riot Radio,’ the first single, relies on a descending guitar riff caught between funky and razor sharp. Radio needs a riot and The Dead 60’s are a welcome addition. ‘Control This’ relies on recognizable reggae tempo to carry the vibe and continue the influence on ‘We Get Low.’ ‘Horizontal’ is the closest the band gets to punk and ‘The Last Resort’ comes off like a Clash b-side. And that’s a good thing, kids. ‘You’re Not The Law’ is declarative, utilizing an organ that sounds right out an old horror movie.
The album sounds deceptively simple. It’s anything but. The guitar playing focuses on quick strumming and descending notes. The interplay between the band members create an ambiance that is fresh and hip without sounding too commercial. And it’s a great CD to play in the background at a party.