It had been a long day. Starting with an hour long music class with my evil music teacher, and in the afternoon receiving about four assignments, each with critical acclaim (aka 90's) and getting countless large slaps on the back from my teachers. Walking out of my school a good ten minutes early in the rain and being kept outside for 15 minutes, I was soaked. I was not in a good mood. I was bruised and soaked. When I got home, I launched in a chair and watched "The New Music". Tonight, a ska-indie band called The Dead 60's. I was intrigued. Who were these mysterious strangers? What is this "ska-indie"? As the program progressed, I was mesmerised by their music, something unique and special. One more question popped in my head. "Where is the nearest cd store and how much is this?" The rest is history.
Yeah, so, uh, the actual review now.
The Dead 60's - The Dead 60's (2005)
Matt McManamon - Lead singer, guitar
Ben Gordon- Keys, guitar
Charlie Turner, Bass
Bryan Johnson, Drums
The sound of this album has the intensity and fury of The Clash, as well as the calm, hypnotic and serene environment of most Sublime. They capture the stylings of Franz Ferdinand and Interpol, and add a mix of reggae. The result? Indie-ska. Does it work? Hell, yeah. The songs themselves embody an influential artist combined with underground indie, and the result is nothing short of sensational.
The highlight is easily the first single (on the British version only, (otherwise available on maxisingle). Ghostfaced Killer
has early Clash written all over it, and the band does a great salute to ol' Joe Strummer, as the influence is strong in this song, where the highlight isn't the vocals, the guitars or the bass, but rather keys that give this song a creepy twist. Espicially entertainig is the little interlude occupying the inbetween of chorus and verse. Both of which are fantastic and run together extremely smoothly. So. The verdict? My new favorite song. The second best song here is the smooth-sailing We Get Low
, which has reggae influences and early punk mixed in. And the song itself is breathtaking as well, and it has chillability. The little elements of the song help build it, like the mini solos in the verse and the tremelo on the second guitar, and it's the big picture that is it's masterpiece. The chorus features simple lyrics, like "We get High, We Get Low", but the it's the vocals that make them enjoyable. Riding over the fantastic reggae influenced performance by the band, this one's a gem. Oh...Yeah!
Other songs embody these kinds of traits genre-wise, songs like Nowhere
, with it's fierce sound and undeniable force, and Loaded Gun
, with it's faster pace and hooks, as well as a great vocal performance, but let's take some time to identify the different kind of sounds on this album. The most prominent Indie influenced song is the opener, Riot Radio
, with it's Franz Ferdinand-esque lick that is garunteed to get stuck in your head. But don't be fooled, this isn't a Franz Ferdinand influenced song. It may sound a tad like it, but it's a punk song at heart, as heard trhough the vocals. The most prominent part of the whole song is the breakdown, with it's fast paced chord strumming and descending second guitar, this song is formidible. Another song that demonstrates they're variety of genres is The Last Resort
, which is more like a gloomy dance song. The exception is that it actually has meaning. Though it has groove-ability occupied in it's fierce, sharp and undeniable guitar riffs, and the fast paced bass pattern, this song also has the least dancey vocals possible. They're fierce, they're furious, hell they're great. Another highlight is the riff inbetween the chorus and verse. So, what else can be said? They can dominate the genres.
There are downright furious songs on here, also. The ending tune You're Not the Law
echoes fury and power, something that was most heard on the Clash's first album. But minus the distortion and adding the keyboard riff that can crawl up your back and suprise you. The vocals are more reggae influenced than anything, but adds more fury and ferocity towards the police, I'm guessing. Still though, with as much fury as there is in this song, they sure make it elegent. They sound great, and even refrain from screaming at you too much, though the "Wha-wha wha oo!" is greatly appreciated. But easily the most furious songs on here are the shortest. A Different Age
clocks in at 1:33, but packs as much fury as it can into it, resulting in a short punk rock nugget, with a spectacular vocal performance and the chuggin' along bass and drums, which add an occasional fill to keep it comples. The second shortest song is Horizontal
is more passionate, as they crank up the music and play at an incredible pace, and the vocals are alot more angry, but the instrumental chorus doesn't help that much, until it picks up it's pace where it leaves off with a bang.
If you like The Clash's earlier stuff, then I give this an unconditional reccomendation. If you like groovy music that enables chillaxability, I reccomend this, but be warned there are a few fast paced furious songs that can distrupt you're lounging. But if you like fury, passion and the occasional organ solo, than this is for you. For the downside of the album, some songs are irresponsibly placed and can change your listening mood too early. Also, some songs sound almost exactly like others.
Thanks for reading,