The Dedbeats

dedbeats

The Dedbeats bandcamp page

So I normally do albums only. I’m making an exception for the Dedbeats because
a) I’m biased,
b) I can
and c) I want to.

Singer Rhett runs the open mic down at The Soundhouse on a Tuesday night, a place where I’ve been made to feel most welcome when I’ve gone down. The Dedbeats remind me most of all of an obscure Leicester band from 1991 called Dead End Street, only with more talent and an ability to take the stage (slightly) less wasted. As Ray Davies is Rhetts favourite songwriter, that’s quite apt.

Also, we all love Crazyhead.

 

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Banshee – Caw!

banshee

Somebody’s written a book on the design and creation of experience! Seriously! And its not satire! They haven’t just lost the plot, they’ve thrown it down a well with a whirlpool. Let’s just imagine the scene at ExperienceDesign HQ, where they’re just working on their press release – “Julie, how are our stocks of ‘WowFac’? It’s the big launch next week, and I don’t want to run out. Did we re-stock with ‘Bordum’ and ‘ENwe?’ They’ve been taking a hammering, hence this fucking re-launch anyway. I suppose we should factor in ‘disappointment’ and ‘not what the brochure promised’ – can we source a new supplier of them? The last batch was not as good as advertised. Yes, I’ve just checked our stocks of ‘ad-e-quate’ and ‘we’ll be sure to tell our friends’ – we seem a bit overstocked. Can we hype the experience a bit, shape the experience as well as the expectation? Yes I know that’s the fucking job description, just because it’s a description doesn’t make it true, look at modernism….”

Try to think outside the shocks

Music isn’t mathematical. Mathematics is musical.

At this precise moment in time, your mouth is open wider than your mind.

Banshee website

Fruit & Flowers – Drug Tax

fruitflowers

As if by magic, the floor was clean. Kevni was a fairly average specimen for a lifeform of his ilk, though moderately and comparatively more powerful than his brethren, for reasons not immediately obvious. This was because his ancestors had ballooned into this sphere several significant generations ago and now Kevni and his kin controlled all they surveyed, progressing the natives according to a thing they called a doctrine, whereby one must always seek constant growth of an imaginary consequence. Now, whilst the average reader might immediately grasp the possibilities of implementing such a philosophy for a predominantly spiritual quest, and indeed some families did indeed follow this path, the overall outcome was the most influential were Kevni’s forbears who established what you might term a monopo-fucking-ly and controlled much of the communication. They playfully allowed different modes of conduct within their framework, worded in such a way as to seem intractably opposed when their intended ends were still the same, and these usually resolved into seeming dichotomies of one system demanding that all worked together centrally controlled toward a supposed group growth, whilst their ‘opponents’ utilised the same small number of elite although they made them appear as if they were changeable, and these could then use their people in a much more insidiously exploitative manner. But the object of both was to grow, and grow they did, so Kevni’s dynasty was happy. Naturally, this became troublesome to their landscape, which acted as though irritated. Eventually a glutinous fog descended their world, slowly at first, then gradually more thickly and menacingly. Naturally, there were varied explanations. Those in favour of the perpetual growth model said it was symptomatic of something called a ‘climate change’ and urged everyone to buy replacement products that were ‘environmentally-friendly,’ which actually had no effect on the fog but allowed more of a substance called ‘money’ to change hands ultimately into the hands of Kevni and the gang. Others claimed that the fog was just part of a cycle in the environment that would happen anyway, species-led or not, and that they should just sit it out and not give in to any of this scare-mongering tactics. However, the fog really was quite toxic, and eventually they all died fighting each other for the last habitable bits of land that had resources for living off, which eventually dwindled to none. Not even the family Kevni survived.
Kevin had just applied a cream to a troublesome spot on his shoulder which had begun to bother him recently.

Mr. Airplane Man – Jacaranda Blue

airplane

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall. This was because the bottom had fallen out of the housing market, and the house had never got finished, leaving the wall standing there on its own. Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall. This was because the wall was uneven and unfit for any kind of purpose at all, including, it must be said, dividing one area from another. The reason for this was that all house builders were profit makers and profit makers only, and were expected only to care about making profits, because all forms of coercion whereby someone had to earn their money honestly had disappeared when the supreme money earners took control of the society in which the house/wall was built. And all the kings’ horses and all the kings’ men couldn’t put humpty together again. Notice how the king himself isn’t having to try and make good the damage that has been done? Leaving it to his men and his horses, who are patently unqualified for the job. And as soon as all the fuss blows over, which it will with the help of a secret PR offensive which will cost a lot more than it would have done to just build the damn house properly in the first place, the king will sell it on again, and it still won’t be built properly.

 

Heaters – Holy Water Pool

hwp

I’ve chewed on this one a bit, because of how much trouble they seem to go to in order to make the listener think this thing was actually recorded in the 60s. But I’ve come to the conclusion that such a view is the wrong angle from which to look at it.

The most important thing, of course, is the content. How good is this thing on its own terms? Well, for my money, the songwriting is brilliant and the playing is superb. There is a real thrill to the sound; I can imagine the pulsations of excitement of being locked in a room whilst these boys do their thang. The movement is palpable. If they play my part of the UK, I’m interested.

As alluded above, it has been bothering me when people seem to go out of their way to fit a niche. But I need to look at it from another angle, don’t I? Imagine an actor, a theatre one. How convincing is s/he without the mask and costume? A good actor will be regardless, but the accoutrements add to the effect, and this feeds back into the performance itself. This I have understood from experience – when playing in a band whose main purpose is to get the audience excited, an excited audience feeds back into and propels the performance into even further excitement.

So let it be when using a musical mask, perfecting a particular sound. It can be pretty dull recording in a studio (it’s only glamorous for people who have never done it). If you want to make exciting music, then it is entirely legitimate to use whatever hack you can to bring out the excitement in the playing.

It can also be looked at this way: when you go to make something, you choose certain tools. The tools you choose are essential to the finished product being what it is. Sometimes tools are chosen because they are what is at hand, other times you have to narrow down what can be used lest you end up with an incoherent work ruined by using too many unnecessary tools, something which has ruined alot of music over the years.

Heaters are clearly excited by the (sound) tools they’re using, and that is why this sounds as good as it does. Having bloody good material is a help, though. For a reference point, if you know Holy Cobras, these aren’t a million miles away, although maybe less yelpy (technical term). It’s a kind of surf-garage-rock mix, and it has a very 60s sound similar in spirit to the Joe Meek thing.

Thee Oh Sees – Mutilator Defeated at Last!

CF-055coverIt took me aaaages to get hold of this album, which I eventually did by sending off for a physical CD. After which I found I could have bought it from Midheaven… sigh.

If you like Thee Oh Sees – and why on earth would you not? – then this album will push your buttons as effectively as all their stuff from the last 4 years or so.

Some has been made of its apparent heaviness on their labels page – I don’t think its much heavier than their other stuff to be honest. I don’t know what yer actual music critics think because I make it a rule not to read anybody else’s thoughts on music that I know that I’ll listen to myself because I want my own first impressions to be as uncontaminated by expectation as it is possible to be. Also, music critics deal only in opinions, and I’ve yet to meet a single human being who doesn’t have one of those. They become tiresome.

So anyway, have a listen to the album. I rather like it.