After their self released début album ‘Sixty-Nine’ in early 2009, Deathline threw themselves onto the live circuit. Playing shows across the UK and Europe, and hitting the road for short visits in the United States along the East Coast and Midwest. They then retreated back into the studio to start on a darker path. This found them recording new material with Josiah Mazzaschi (whose credits include Smashing Pumpkins/Built to Spill/Rilo Kiley).
The new album includes 13 superb tracks and has already been described as a “Fusion of smutty electronica, suicide-esque atmospherics and post-punk vocals” by Artrocker.
The first track on Nova, ‘Black Monkey’ opens with the sounds of a cruel wind blowing across a harsh desert, before we are greeted by a jangle of contorted metalworks. Gouging riffs jemmy themselves under your lid, whilst oily keyboards lubricate the hinges from your mind. This is foul, funny, warm and cloudy.
‘Ten of Clubs’ is a stained gnasher of a song. An intrepid beat and wallowing fuzz heralds in a scuzzy verse and a tension that gnaws at your knickers. ‘Buffalo’ has jewel drops of pure guitar and a murmur of voice that seems to shine on the surface like an oily slick. Soft keys add a peppermint shine through the piece.
‘Every Dying Breath’ is glad-hearted and glamorous. Cynical lyrics are folded inside an inky napkin of simmering sounds. A driving beat and aggressively bumping bass lines mean that this track would not seem out of place on a dance floor. Infectious and moody pop magnificence.
‘Something is You’ is redolent of “Turning Japanese” by The Vapors 1980. And the riff rubs the crust from your fists. Add that guitar solo that goes way beyond your expectations, and you realize that this song crawls under your skin and lays its big fat eggs there. Scratch away as much as you can, but you’ll never get ride of this one.
‘Return’ also has an Oriental whiff to it (unsurprising since Kaoru provides guitars and programming) and nicely bobs along, creating its own rocking motion seasickness. ‘Warm Leather’ is haunting and hearty. ‘Surrender Monkey’ rattles along like a clockwork beast running on twisted tentacles.
‘Sweden v Poland’ has a pulverizing beat and anthemic metal riffs. This song proudly struts along, throwing up its arms and shouting its magnificence. This piece would be at home in a metal-heads collection.
Title track ‘Nova’ starts with an anxious helicopter beat and nervy news-casting voice-overs. A reckless guitar is frantically strummed, as the beat is hyped up and pumped out. A dismal siren-like call screams out across the jagged landscape. It’s a dystopian vision created in a blinding sun.
‘Red’ has plinks of fluid keys and a pipe-work of sinuous guitar lines that bend around the traditional rhythm and try to choke the life out of it.
This is a moody and maleficent album, in which the listener is rewarded with a genuine feeling of fluidity and completeness. Full of hatching sub-texts and pleasant, but bizarre, riffs and passages. Vocals are limited, offering only spice or acidity, when prompted. The rhythms are abundant and carefully crafted and the production is superior.
– © Neil_Mach November 2012 –
New Album ‘NOVA’
Released 26th November 2012 (Rock Noir Recordings)