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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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.

Dahga Bloom

I know nothing about this band, and can not find a bio. I tried looking at their F******k page but it made no sense to me. So I’m simply going to say what they sound like. Although, actually, you can listen to them. Go on. Listen to them.

They sound like a band who have played a million sweat stained, beer soaked gigs at every dive that would have them and have a sound of simply getting out there and kicking out the jams. They sound like a band whose pure and sole focus is the entertainment of the audience. To use a phrase I haven’t heard a band use for a loooong time, they sound like they want to kick your arse (or ass, if you’re not from round here).

I discovered ‘No Curtains’ because it made some year end list or other, and unlike most of the stuff on said list, really did rock my world. For the last couple of weeks I’ve barely listened to music due to a sinus induced migraine; I’ve made an exception for Dahga Bloom (and Big Blood, natch, as they have two – count ’em – new albums out). I’m not actually sure I’d go with the ‘psych’ descriptor but chucked it in because maybe I’m suffering from definition fatigue and it isn’t this particular definitions fault.

Thee Open Sex

What do you mean, you’ve never heard of Thee Open Sex?

There are more releases than just the two I’ve linked, but they are far and away my favourite.

‘Thee Open Sex’ sounds musically like a meshing, no bleshing, of Jesus and Mary Chain, Velvet Underground, Spaceman 3, that sort of yadda. Don’t let that put you off. This is pure psychedelic rock’n’roll. Every part is perfect – the shamanic vocals, the guitar interplay (and wonderful wah sound), the tight-but-loose rhythm section, the hypnotic, pulsating, repetitive, droning rhythms… I could go on all day. I won’t. Go and have a listen.

‘Thee Open Sex is not a Put On’ is equally wonderful, but in an entirely different way. Two songs, both over twenty minutes (making it longer than ‘Thee Open Sex’) and both starting off as essentially the same damn piece. I reckon they went into a rehearsal room one day and simply pressed record whilst warming up. They called that piece ‘9/11 is a Joke.’ Afterwards, Daun Door-key (which is how the singer is listed, so it must be her true name) said ‘do that again, I’m going to join in this time,’ so they did. They called that piece ‘Santa Amanita.’

Regardless, they are wonderful compositions. In fact, the level on songcraft on both releases is astonishing. There isn’t an ounce of fat, of waste. Nothing is superfluous.

I had intended to find out a bit about them, but there doesn’t seem to be much to find out. As it happens, I think it’s better to not go looking for the biography, unless you yourself are interested enough, and you have a browser and a new tab, and off you go. The music speaks for itself.