Denver’s Married A Dead Man dropped a surprise cover of the song yesterday. I love this track! MADM is one of the best bands to cover such an iconic track. They are donating a portion of the proceeds to Safehouse Denver, a local nonprofit organization. Per Safehouse’s website, “SafeHouse Denver works to eliminate domestic violence in our communities by:
-providing shelter and counseling to survivors of abuse; -working with public and community agencies to improve the way our systems respond to domestic violence; -and by offering educational programming to prevent future violence
I loved this track so much. I reached out to front-woman Megan Kelley for comment regarding the track. Per Megan, “”We have wanted to cover this song for three years, and it’s finally come to fruition. The lyrics are written from a female’s perspective of being controlled by her male partner. Re-imagining this song, getting in touch with the lyrics, and making it our own, musically, was very important to us. We hope you like it! Digital release format only: Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, SoundCloud, our Youtube channel, and any other streaming platforms.
It’s also for digital purchase at Bandcamp, Amazon, and iTunes. A portion of the sales will go to Safehouse Denver, who assist adults, children, and youth in reclaiming their right to a life free from domestic violence. On a personal note, the reason we decided to cover this song is because of relationship experiences our singer has had. It was cathartic and healing for her and us to play this song.”
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Did you know that physical violence is not the only form of domestic violence? If you or a loved one is experiencing domestic violence. Please do not hesitate to call 911 in the event of an emergency. If you need to talk with someone please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.
You can check out Married A Dead Man’s cover of “Voices Carry” here, https://marriedadeadman.bandcamp.com/. Per MADM, this single was self produced, rearranged, some the chords were given a darker tone. The changing of the chords really makes this sound like an original MADM track, The band is also seeking a guitar player. Maybe if we all donate enough money they can put this one out on vinyl!
Favorite Tracks: Awakening, Stray, Burn, Taken, Shimmer and Valkyrie
Sounds Like: Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, The Room In The Wood, Mazzy Star, Gary Numan, The Damned (Darkwave Era), and Dead Can Dance.
As old man winter enters Colorado. Everything seems to slow down. It’s pitch black by 5pm, the pumpkins from Halloween are beginning to rot. The temperature is a constant 45 degrees. It’s great weather for some Gothic post punk tunes from Denver’s Married A Dead Man. They are set to play Goosetown Tavern on November 22, 2019 for their new album release, “Awakening”. Tickets are moving and are limited to only 100!
I have always felt a good album contains a story line. This story line may be deep and meaningful. Or maybe a group of musicians having a great time making music? Every song has its own story. Denver’s Married A Dead Man is one of those bands. With each release a story line is set. We reviewed their last release here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/2018/10/12/married-a-dead-man-haunt/
The first track, “Overture”, provides a dark, grimy, and haunting introduction. This is a beautiful and haunting song. The movie is set to begin. “Awakening” is next with synth sounds reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails, “Dead Souls”. Kelley’s voice is energetic, yet blends well with the amazing drum work, and excellent guitar. This is a buildup to a pure, awakening from the depths.
I have to admit the next song, “Stray” hit me very hard. This anti-gun track is emotionally charged and left me pondering this. How many have to die at the hands of gun violence? How many more children will be gunned down like lambs to the slaughter? This song is incredible and has very strong potential.
“Shaken by bullets all flying around Pick up the bodies that lie on the ground With thoughts and prayers as we sink in despair Twenty years past yet we still look elsewhere”
Married A Dead Man – “Stray”
“Burn” follows with a beautiful piano introduction. This track has an awesome industrial sound. It’s almost as if there’s a full orchestra behind Kelley and the band. The buildup towards the end of the track is unexpected, but done brilliantly. “Bleed” is the next song. A relationship over, yet an awakening has begun to reclaim the soul.
The drum work on the song is excellent. The synth dances as a playful witch explores her new surroundings. I love this song! The band fully displays each of their own mastered styles. There’s an impressive guitar riff that blends seamlessly with the track.
“Taken”, gets dark and mysterious. The song progresses the story line while bouncing between self reflection and taking action. The imagery in this sad tale is deep and I felt it was best to reach out to the band for comment. I spoke with Vocalist/Keyboardist Megan Kelley.
CPRA: Can you go into more detail about the song “Taken?”
Megan Kelley: Absolutely. This song is somewhat painful to discuss and is very personal. It’s about rape. The lyrics are two fold: they discuss the victim begging to be freed and let go by the rapist, “stop/not that/this, please free my wrists. Choke/spit/hit/piss, I want to live” while toggling between the victim having an out of body experience to cope with the assault as it occurs “I’m floating high above. What should I think of?”
It also makes the point of how victims feel after getting assaulted: how they feel completely unattractive, detached, scarred, and how they view being seen differently by others. “Played out your fantasy, tied to my canopy. I was a bride-to-be, now no one touches me.” The song explores the fight-flight-freeze response to getting attacked in the first verse.
When we play this song live, often times I will discuss the personal nature of this song and always stress that it’s never the victim’s fault. I hope that with open dialogue about sexual assault it will help more victims find a place of healing. Rape is about control, and the best way to take back your control is to talk about your experience when you are ready.
I hope that our music can help anyone who has experienced anything like this. I have often feared being pitied or seen solely as a victim. My public “face” is not one to show or admit vulnerability, but writing about these experiences and feelings truly has helped me in many ways.” Thank you Megan for sharing your story!
“Shimmer” follows and slows the album down. It’s calming, as it explores the sub consciousness. The bass shines on the track. This is another track where I felt it would be great to hear Kelley’s thoughts.
CPRA: Can you go into more detail about the song “ Shimmer ?”
Megan Kelley: “Shimmer is about floating away in the ocean. The suicide aspect is a metaphor for self acceptance and peace within yourself; it’s not necessarily about suicide, but it’s also inspired by how Virginia Woolf killed herself (which was by drowning herself in a river after weighing herself down with rocks in her pockets.) That kind of self acceptance really comes from making absolute peace with oneself, so I thought that the beach setting was fitting for this kind of peaceful acceptance. I grew up on the East Coast.
Being near the ocean is something that I’m very accustomed to and love. The initial inspiration behind the song was the beauty of the ocean, and how much a beach scene is so peaceful and quiet. “I dip my toe in, dreaming of floating. I swim the ocean, the salt is cleansing. Feeling absolution, I can go peacefully.” Another big WOW from this writer!
“Keening” follows up with some edgy drums and guitar. By far one of the darkest tracks. It sounds like it could’ve been written by Bauhaus, yet retains that amazing MADM sound. This is another track where I felt it would be great if the band could offer some insight.
CPRA: Can you go into more detail about the song “Keening?”
Megan Kelley: Sure! This one was really fun to write. The band writes all the music collaboratively, and I write most of the lyrics and melody. Travis (bass) also writes some of our lyrics and melodies. We have a song about witches. We have a song about the Valkyrie. We really wanted to write about banshees. This was nice for me to research because I am half Irish…and really went deep into the folklore rabbit hole during the research process.
Like a lot of our music, it has a theme about women. Some songs are personal, like “Taken,” “Bleed,” or “Run,” and some songs are about strong women in mythology/history that we find interesting.There is a common misnomer that a banshee could put a curse on you if she came to visit. Really, the banshee is simply the messenger, visiting you to warn you that someone in your family will die soon…even as soon as the next day.
Visiting at night, and typically portrayed as a shrouded, older, skinny, kind of scary faced woman with straggly hair, the banshee shrieks her way through the darkness to deliver her message. In Ireland, there is a belief that a certain banshee is assigned to a specific family, and that your assigned banshee would stay with your family forever”. Such a great story! Thanks Megan for the awesome information!
The last track is, “Valkyrie – (Offerings To Odin) Remix. Prepared to be straight up blown away by this kick ass remix. While the original is a bit slower, this remix offers a dance version. This track would fit well in any action movie where a person is bent on revenge. This track seems to culminate the story line of “Awakening”. Fans of 90s house music will love this track. Denver’s Rock Island days are still with us.
In reflection, “Married A Dead Man’s, “Awakening” is a gothic post punk trip through intimate, storytelling, and fascinating composition. Several tracks on the record have great potential for commercial success. EDM may be taking the airwaves, but MADM is proving post punk is still alive and kicking. This album is definitely a nominee for CPRA’s Best Of 2019. You can pick it up on all major platforms after the release show at Goosetown Tavern.
Favorite Tracks: Burn, Quit It, Compassion, and In Limbo
Sounds Like: Manges, Teen Idols, The Lillingtons, The DollyRots, Nine Inch Nails, Ramones and Bomboloni
Let’s take a minute to recognize one of my favorite small labels, “Monster Zero Records”. They are not owned by the devils at Warner, or Sony, CBS, etc. The folks on their promotion team are just like you and me. In fact per their website, “Monster Zero is a semi-unprofessional punkrock label, based in Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria, Europe. We like punk rock, pop punk, power pop and beer. We love Ramones and 5-Star hotels”. I like punk rock, beer and 5 star hotels!
They are professionals at getting music on their label out to the masses. We’ve done a ton of reviews from Monster Zero bands, see them here, https://coloradopunkrockarmy.com/tag/monster-zero/. Today I’m happy to show ex pop punks from Forli, Italy, Teenage Bubblegums. The ex pop punks recently dropped their 3rd release, “In Limbo” back in September. Let’s give it a run through!
The first track is “Quit It”. The buzz saw like notes come flying in before joining in a dark and delicious melody. The next song is “Burn”. The track continues the dark them. The backbeat is amazing. Ally’s vocals make it seem as if the listener is traversing through some creepy haunted house. The bass takes it even deeper.
“How I Feel” follows with some insane work on guitar and strong chords. As I listen I can feel a sense of anger, emptiness, and hope. The next song is “In Limbo”. We’ve all been there stuck waiting on a change, waiting for an outcome. It can plain suck sometimes! This track; however does not suck! Extremely dark power chords, combined with excellent drum work make this track stand out.
The track could easily be added to an industrial playlist without sounding out of place. “Never Again” is the follow up track. In starts with Ramonescore sound, yet more on the Horror/Lillingtons side. The simple lyrics seem to fly through like a witch on a broomstick, flying around, searching for kids to add to her brew.
The next track is “Full Of Agony”. This tracks belongs in a horror movie. It’s fast, fun, although the lyrics would suggest otherwise! “My Mind” follows by coming in with a kick ass buzz saw sound before joining in with the bass and drums. The next track is “High”. Damn this song makes me want to get high haha! It’s pogo worthy in my book, with its energetic and fast melody.
“Shame” follows up coming in with a siren like intro. I love this track. Goth and industrial fans this may also appeal to you as well. The lyrics are dark and powerful.
Flames, I was walking through the flames
I’ve got some poison running through my veins
And I’ve got so much shame
Flames, I was walking through the flames
My name is loneliness, where did I fail?
And I’ve got so much shame”
The last track on the release is “Compassion”. Have you ever tried to change someone for the better in a relationship? You don’t want to lose them, but also cannot make them love you. I’ve been there and never going back. This track is for all of us whom have undergone the emotions associated. A Ramonescore melody sets the theme before unleashing into onslaught of punk.
In conclusion Teenage Bubblegum’s, “In Limbo” is angry, emotional river, which pulls in different genres such as post punk, pop punk and industrial to an incredible punk rock combination. Be sure to pick this one up on vinyl for the purest recording here, https://teenagebubblegums.bandcamp.com/album/in-limbo.
Sounds Like:Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, X-Ray Spex, early New Order and The Cure.
Band Bio: Taken from Svart Records website: “As the earth turns toward a colder era and humans struggle to adapt to a bleaker autumn breeze, a new music shivers in the shadows. There stand Weathered Statues. The group convened in early 2017 in Denver, Colorado, with three members having previously performed together in the post-doom outfit Cloak of Organs (along with members of Planes Mistaken for Stars and Wovenhand).
Singer-keyboardist Jennie Mather, guitarist-keyboardist Jason Heller, and drummer Andrew Warner (also of Slim Cessna’s Auto Club) recruited bassist Bryan Flanagan, and the newly dubbed quartet of Weathered Statues began forging songs of mutation, betrayal, dislocation, erosion, and decay, subsequently playing shows with everyone from Boy Harsher to Pelican. Years ago, Mather and Heller had served in a short-lived shoegaze band called Hyacinth with Anthony Couri (previously of Minsk and currently of the Locrian side-project Lake of Violet), and the two of them began to sculpt lush sounds into something far more stark.”
Emotional, raw and well crafted post punk from Denver, CO. Like a lot of post punk, this checks all the boxes of having a solid rhythm section, providing the backdrop for the guitar and keys to create harmonies that are beautiful, but not overly florid. The clean lines those parts create give way to the perfect space for Mather’s vocals, which have strong melodies, without being overly dramatic. Her lyrics are dark but not brooding, which is what I like the most about them. I enjoy how directly she sings about lost love, death, betrayal, and the like, while the band provides the perfect musical backdrop.
The production is great also. The drums are mixed very well, and the overall balance of the band is stellar.
Favorite tracks: Corpse Candle, Betrayal, Dark Tides, Ossuary
On a personal note, I thoroughly enjoy this album and since writing this review, and find myself coming back to it time and time again. I want to play a gig with Weathered Statues!
About the Reviewer: Megan Kelley is the front woman for Denver based post-punk band Married a Dead Man. She is an accomplished pianist, keyboardist and singer, with a full time private music teaching studio. She is also a composer, songwriter and holds degrees in classical voice and piano, as well as a second degree in sound engineering. Music is her entire existence.
Favorite Tracks: Spywerks, Bad Dreams, Run, and Knoxville
Sounds Like: Perpacity, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, The Room In The Wood, Mazzy Star, Gary Numan, The Damned (Darkwave Era), and Dead Can Dance.
Have you ever put on a record laid down and drifted off into some dream world? That’s called art my friends! Something that makes us feel something, anger, happiness, and of course sadness. Let me first introduce Denver based post punks, Married A Dead Man. Per the band’s Facebook page, “Married a Dead Man formed in July 2016 from the remnants of hardcore band OK Holiday, where Jaime (drums) and Gwyneth (guitar) decided to form their own female based goth-influenced project.
Veteran bassist Travis was added a few weeks later. Black clad kindred spirits, Megan (vocals and keyboards) and Jaime met volunteering for Girls Rock Denver, a non-profit organization that empowers young girls through music.
Brought together by disparate influences, the band creates an eclectic mix of goth, shoe-gaze and dark-wave, culminating a unique Denver-based sound. They collectively have 30+ years experience performing, recording and touring.
With their forthcoming debut LP, “Haunt”, Married a Dead Man has a host of local gigs, and will be touring in into 2018”.
The coolest part about this story is how everyone came together to create such a unique sound. So let’s get into this unique sound. If you recall I mentioned that music should make you feel something. While listening to the opening track, “Spywerks”. I felt as if I was falling down into a deep rabbit hole. Upon gaining my footing my imagination began to run wild. I saw images of cold war soviet spies running covert operations. Ok so maybe those came from the movie, “Atomic Blonde”, but the song led me in that direction.
“Spywerks”, the opening bass line is a quick hook, when combined with the drums and guitar they make a wonderful combination. Kelley’s vocals are beautiful, yet strangely haunting. Let’s move onto “Bad Dreams”. This is probably my favorite track on the record. This track defines the label of “Dark Wave”. It’s dark and heavy. The emotions portrayed feel relatable, yet in someway dream like. The vocals shine during the chorus. “Never Say”, opens with a type of Colorado surf rock like, “A Shoreline Dream”. The keyboard and guitar are the stars on this while the drums push the progression. This song reminds me a bit of the Cure’s, “Disintegration” album.
“Knoxville”, this one reminds a lot of Siouxsie and the Banshees. It’s fast paced, deep and heavy. This is definitely one of my favorites. The intro on the guitar kicks serious ass! The drums are quite remarkable. I’d love to hear this will a full symphonic orchestra. “Shadows” is up next on the record. This one slows down, yet continues the fantastic sound. This one is mainly drum and bass, which emphasizes on the vocals.
“Shed”, has really awesome bass line with some keyboard mixed in. Again while listening I feel like I’m in some sort of movie. The drums and guitar are on key and lead the vocals for an amazing crescendo. “Valkyrie”, this one seems a bit darker. It reminds me of the Pixies early tunes. Next up is “Run”. There’s some beautiful piano notes that lead into the vocals. This song seems to be about the loss of a relationship and running to escape the pain.
“Heart is shutting down
Her frown became a fixture
The distance in her eyes
Could paint a million pictures”
So I have come to a conclusion. Here at CPRA we decide on which eps/albums will make it to December for our Album of the Year Award. I thought it would be easy enough. Although I never considered that we would need to break it down by genre. Well I’m throwing, Married A Dead Man, “Haunt” into the best “Post Punk Category” for Album Of The Year. Throughout this album my ears are hearing new sounds I missed the first time. The album is the perfect combination of goth/post punk without feeling like it came from 1982. So be sure to check this one out!!!
Favorite Tracks: Therapy, Lullaby, Night Ride, and Working Class Poet
Sounds Like: The Penske File, Poor Moxi, King Shelter, The Pixies, Nirvana and Vampire Weekend
The Wannabes first popped on the CPRA Band Radar Alert back on 4/06/2018. So I was extremely happy when, “Goodbye” first popped up on Spotify. So let’s dive right in with the intro track, ‘Intro’. This one is small, but it’s like opening a new book for the first time. For whatever reason the first time I heard this track. I kept thinking about the movie, “Being John Malkovich” It’s basically about some guy (John Cusack) finds a door. This door leads directly into actor John Malkovich’s brain. Cusack can see and hear everything going on in Malkovich’s life. It’s one of my favorites.
‘Therapy’, is next up on the list. The guitar, drums, and bass seem to flow easily as they intertwine with one another. This one has a simply beat, yet feels like it has a very deep message. “I sell smiles, but I’m running low”.
“Trust in us
That we will turn your ugly thoughts
Into pretty melodies
Cause we have medicine in our veins
And poison on our skin
If you’re better at being me
Then I might know where we will be
Sleeping under your bed
Or in your dreams
But we’ll never be like you
I sell smiles but I’m running low”
‘Night Ride’, this one is a little on the harder side. The bass and drums on this track are fantastic. Cameron McCurry’s vocals really add that bit of edge to the song. ‘Princess’ rolls up next on the track list. This love song has some great lyrics and shreds on guitar.
‘Animal’, this song sounds almost Ramones inspired with its melodies. I really like the “sing a long” type lyrics. The drums are great. Next up is my second favorite track, ‘Lullaby’. This one again has some great lyrics, some great hooks, and fantastic drumming. We can all relate to this song.
“Im a little odd
but my friends all call me crazy
Im a little ugly
but my friends say Im a monster
My friends dont exist
My friends dont exist
My friends dont exist”
‘Rings’ comes up next on the list. The song is almost like a great power ballad. This one is a bit darker. I feel like we are really getting inside the writer’s mind on this song. ‘Running Out Of Time’ slows it down with some great little notes acoustically. ‘Working Class Poet’, this track speeds it back up. This one reminds me of Nirvana towards the end of their stand. The drums really stand out along with the cello or violin on this one.
“Puddles”, ok not sure if this song is referencing, “Puddles The Clown”, but I’ll be damned this is a great song. The piano is absolutely heartbreaking, yet hauntingly beautiful.
‘Death Song’, leans more towards a goth rock type song. The keyboard along with the vocals sound like they came from an opera of sorts. Even in a pure instrumental style this song could stand on its own. ‘Goodnight’, closes out this amazing album. This song is such a fantastic ending to a great album.
I reached out to drummer, Andy Pieratt for some formation information on the band. That’s something I always like to check into to. It helps me understand their music more. “We formed in October of 2016 with just Cameron McCurry and Andy Pieratt (me), we had talked on Craigslist because we both had similar influences and both wanted to start a band. So, we decided to meet up at a Mexican restaurant, and after like 5 minutes of talking together, we just seemed to click. Then, Cameron asked if I had any ideas for band names, and I said I was “cool with whatever,” he suggested that we should be called The Wannabes because he has this guitar called “The Wannabe” guitar, and as far as we can tell that guitar does not exist outside of the one Cameron owns.
Trust me we’ve searched endlessly on Google. But, after that Cameron and I would practice regularly and “Lullaby” and “Therapy” were some of the first songs we worked on and eventually made. We had a long time of trying out different bassists because none of them seemed to fit right or fill that missing connection in the band. Then one day, Cameron mentioned that there’s a kid named Joe at his school who plays bass/guitar that he thought might be the perfect fit.
Then in like February of 2018, Cameron, Joe, and I all met at the same Mexican restaurant and the full band of The Wannabes formed. Cameron and I both knew Joe was the perfect fit before we had even practiced with him. He was an edgy kid who was wearing a beat-up Zeppelin t-shirt, can’t get more rock n’ roll than that. Eventually, in May of 2018 we started recording our first album “Goodbye”, and now here we are today!” That’s some great stuff!
In conclusion, “Goodbye’ from the Wannabes is a magical and twisted journey that should be added to any music lover’s collection. The different genres they feature make this a exemplary album of combined talent. I’m adding this one onto the list for the CPRA 2018 Album Of The Year. You can download it here, https://thewannabes.bandcamp.com/.
Sounds Like: Depeche Mode, The Cure, Soft Cell, Bauhaus, The Room In The Wood, Rat Scabies
Favorite Tracks: Rule The Day, Telethon, Dance To Disco, More, Omega Cacumen
Here at Colorado Punk Rock Army we are blessed with the ability to review new and different types of music. We love what we do! We can sit at a coffee shop or bar, listening to great music before it hits the airwaves. So when Perpacity announced their new album, back when we reviewed their single, ‘Telethon’. We have been patiently waiting on the new album, “The Order of Now”.
Depeche Modes, “Black Celebration” is one of my favorite albums of all time. This album is considered one the most influential albums of the 1980’s. Perpacity seems to draw heavily from their influences. Does, “The order of Now” sound like, Depeche Mode? Yes and no. While songs like ‘Goodbye’ and ‘Telethon’ do resemble Gore’s historic bass/keyboard sounds, Perpacity brings a less pop like sound.
Their sound is unique with a deeper meaning.
So let’s go over some tracks some of my favorite songs on the record. ‘More’ a beautifully well written love song. The intro sound effect, synth sounds, and vocals really stand out on this one. I like the almost, Middle Eastern mystic sound.
“I’ve seen all the rhythm that you’ve got,
When you get excited you want more, more, more.
And when you move, the way you want.
Well I get excited, I want more, more, more.”
‘Goodbye’, this song is absolutely haunting. It’s beautiful. The male/female duo have really nailed this song. You almost feel the desolation. I’m going to finish this review with the last track on the record, instrumental only ‘Omega Cacumen’. I love when a band/group throws in some instrumental tracks only. This song dives deep into your heart. My only issue is a feel like it needs to be about a minute longer.
Overall Perpacity’s, ‘The order of Now’ is like listening to a tale being told, and immersing yourself deeply into a dark synth music world.
Stephen King’s, The Dark Tower series came to mind when listening. I highly recommend this album. Be sure to give a buy and listen below!
Sounds Like: The Room, The Fall, Nick Cave, Tindersticks, Bill Calahan, Beck, Fleet
Foxes, The Doors (for Dragonfly), Bert Jansch, Echo & The Bunnymen, Lou Reed, The Eels
The one thing I love the most about Colorado Punk Rock Army is the insane amount of music we get exposed to. One month it might be hardcore punk, the next month all pop punk. Sometimes we even get to check out some post punk. Let’s talk a little more about post punk before we get into the review. Even though I’m a huge punk fan, and have been listening to post punk my whole life. I guess I never really knew it was actually a defined genre of music. The coolest thing about post punk is that crosses over into so many different genres of music.
Photo by Jacob Epstein Bell
So let’s check out post punkers, Paul Cavanagh and Dave Jackson’s new outfit, “The Room In The Wood”. Both former members of “The Room” which split in 1985 have reunited to produce an exceptional new album. This album is like going through an experimental musical journey through a Russian fairytale.
The tune, “Greedy Stars”, will set your brain to relaxation. I really enjoyed the dark overtone and deep lyrical writing. The background vocals on this one are dreamy and may cause a feeling of nostalgia. Now onto the track, “Magical Thinking”. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this one make a landing on the charts. The lyrics are catchy, vocals are beautiful. I really liked the almost disco like guitar riff, as the drums bring a slow build. This song sounds a lot like something David Byrne would write.
“Raven Girl”, slows it down as we get pure storytelling genius. I love the guitar on this one! The progression is admirable. The drums become so important towards the ending. Again this one may hit the charts. “False Friend”, slows it down a notch. The story is just that of finding a fake or false friend. Always sucks to find out someone is like that. It reminds me a bit of something The Eels would write which makes it a great song.
“Grey Wolf Lullaby”, dives deep into a pool of dream like tones. This is poetic storytelling, with a simple bass and drum behind it. The background vocals blend well in this beautiful song. “Sensation” is by far my favorite track on the album. It has this amazing Western sound, which is easily identified. You can really hear the many different influences on the album, just by checking out this song alone. I can definitely see the rockabilly crowd enjoying this one.
“Oh my heart, after all, life itself is all about sensation”
“Sky Pool”, slows it down again, yet to just a comfortably numb feeling. We still here those sweet Western sounding riffs. Don’t be surprised if this one or “Sensation” ends up in a Quentin Tarantino movie. “Snowblind”, continues the slow direction with brilliant storytelling. Again this to me really feels like an Eels song. It’s happy and will make you skip. The guitar solo is quite elegant. “ Vermillion Sands”, starts to pick the pace back up. The chorus is quite catchy. Again I really enjoy the storytelling on this.
Photo by Yvonne Marsden
“Time Machine”, deals with self- reflection and lost love. “Nothing is Real”, starts out with some beautiful acoustic and ranges to a full assault. The mix of instruments I can hear is quite extravagant. It sounds like a bit like something the, “Grateful Dead” may have done during their experimental phases. Last, but not least we have, “Snakeways”. This pure acoustic and vocal song caps off the end of the Russian fairy tale story. Although not my favorite song on the album it closes out the elegant album.
Photo by Jacob Epstein Bell
Overall this album is pure bliss. With tracks like, ‘Nothing Is Real’, ‘Magical Thing’, and “Sensation’, the duo have crafted a fairytale album. They have not missed a beat since 1985. You can download and purchase physical copies here, on June 22, 2018. Be sure to follow them on Facebook as well. Be sure to check out A Turntable Friend Records as well.
So, I think the best way to start this is to come right out front and say that while I’ve heard a few Shriekback songs before now, I wasn’t very well-acquainted with their work. As such, I can really only speak from a “fresh” perspective; and not one of a seasoned Shriekback fan. I don’t have the context of the full library of 13 previous studio albums and countless live albums, compilations, and singles to draw from, as I’m sure many of those reading this do.
To those who have been long-time fans, of whom there are many, please bear with the noob.
Let me just start by directly saying, I really like the sound of the band! I hear a lot of things that I like in the music; and given that the band has been around since 1981, it’s hard to say who has influenced who, in some of the sounds I hear. My first thought during the opening track, was that it sounds a little like Midnight Oil or INXS; certainly a recurring sound theme across the whole album. Throughout the rest of the album, I feel I can draw comparisons to Tom Waits, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, and just a tiny little dash of Skinny Puppy. I hear Blue Man Group in the drums, and The Eels in the bass and some guitars.
It’s macabre and poetic, with a little light humor splashed in, here and there. It’s relaxing, but with just enough upbeat-ness to clean your house (albeit somewhat slowly).
I really enjoyed listening to this album. By the end of the album, I found myself wanting to get a few more Shriekback albums, to see what I’ve been missing; so I’m off to the record store, now…
If that doesn’t say what needs to be said about this album from a newbie’s perspective, then I don’t know what does. I liked it, and I recommend it.