Release Date: 26 January 2018
Label: Infectious Music
The London-based band of 5 years are marking their territory in the music scene with their debut album, The Golden Age of Not Even Trying. After declaring that “good things take time and we only produce the best”, Dead! certainly gave themselves a lot to live up to, but have clearly demonstrated they’re men of their words.
With crashing cymbals and raw vocals, ‘The Boys † The Boys’ opens the long-awaited album. Progressing into a more melodic guitar line, the chorus proves itself to be a memorable asset to both the song and album and sets the listener up well for what is to be expected in succeeding tracks.
Next up comes the fast and pit-worthy ‘Enough, Enough, Enough’. The instrument-heavy track, complemented by the rough growls of guitarist Sam Matlock, establish a punishing pace which is sustained unrelenting for the full three minutes until the very last seconds before flowing smoothly into the title track, ‘The Golden Age Of Not Even Trying’. Lyrically, this song is instantly grabbing with the line “I’ll jump in the sea wearing all of my clothes”, but this initial confusion is very quickly replaced by sheer delight due to the upbeat tempo this song carries. Despite being a criticism of the music industry (“it’s rare to be an artist, and it’s rare to have a cause”), there is also a much-welcomed optimism in the lyrics – it is “the golden age” after all.
Holding a much more mellow tone, ‘Jessica’ brings Alex Mountford’s discorded vocals fuelled by strife to the forefront, highlighting the anguish of broken relationships. This melancholic song indicates the musical diversity Dead! have a grasp of as they bring to the table a much slower emotional song compared to Jessica’s predecessors. The juxtaposition of the comically sorrowful lyric “I liked the sound of the engine more than I did our conversations” is just one example of how Dead! are true artists.
Skipping forward to track 7, ‘Petrol & Anaesthetic’ has a steady head-bop vibe which is a solid song in itself, but also serves as a nice breather before descending back towards the signature relentlessness of ‘Up for Ran$om’. The alliance of guitars from brothers Sam and Louis Matlock and the bass from Sam Chappell are the focal key to this song and demonstrate the talent in this band with ease. Similarly, ‘A Conversation With Concrete’ is another guitar and bass-led track but the difference here is the anthemically harmonious chorus which is sure to be a hit amongst crowds. Giving a greater rise to Alex’s vocals, ‘A Conversation With Concrete’ is the stand-out track of the album (even if the band do claim “you’re all emos” on their WhatsApp chat ‘TheDamnedRestlessFuture’ for liking the song).
Closing this monumental debut is ‘Youth Screams & Fades’. With a slow and emotion-packed finale, the layers of vocals are complimented beautifully by the instrumentals to pack in one last punch before signing off the album.
All in all, this long-awaited album left music fans with high expectations for The Golden Age Of Not Even Trying and Dead! certainly lived up to the hype and delivered a phenomenal debut. Despite some songs falling slightly short of the rest, with some polishing up and experience there is no doubt that Dead! have a resounding potential to make it big and are not one to miss without a proper listen.
Recommended Track: A Conversation With Concrete
Make sure to catch them playing in the UK at:
London – The Fighting Cocks – 26th January
Leeds – The Key Club – 27th January
Manchester – The Star & Garter – 29th January
Glasgow – The Garage (Attic Bar) – 30th January
Birmingham – The Flapper – 31st January
London – 100 Club – 1st February
Guildford – The Boileroom – 2nd February
Bedford – Esquires – 4th February
Cambridge – The Portland Arms – 5th February
Nottingham – The Bodega – 9th February
Sheffield – Record Junkee – 10th February
Hull – The Polar Bear – 11th February
Newcastle – Think Tank? – 12th February
Edinburgh – Opium – 14th February
Oxford – The Cellar – 19th February
Cardiff – Clwb Ifor Bach (Downstairs) – 20th February
Bristol – The Louisiana – 21st February
Plymouth – The Junction – 22nd February