Dead Skeletons : Manchester : Live review
Band On The Wall
If you had to design the perfect 21st century rock n roll band then you would have to end up with the Dead Skeletons- firstly they break the Anglo American axis by coming from the fringes of Iceland, they then deal the Suicide card and revel in their urban nightmares and the pulsing sci fi of that genius band and reference its space age age rock n roll vocals. They somehow also mange to reference to the early Jesus and the Chain’s insolent leather swagger and even Einsterzende Neubaten’s mid period neo techno drones and add this to an ability to surprise and shock with the dark heart of true Goth- the much misunderstood genre that was the real soundtrack to the post punk period and yet they still sound like nothing else that has gone on before.
To finish the design they look like they are jamming with some sort of pagan mantra, with Aleister Crowley lobbed into the mix and a fascination with the dark and dangerous- that understanding of the Valhalla that Led Zeppelin sang about with an exotic whiff of decadence and devilish living as they quite literally live on the edge of the world in a nation that breathes fire through its very pores and is doused in ice and snow. You could even claim the band capture their homeland’s extremes in something that is almost the perfect pop music and would be the true sound of alternative culture in 2013 if the Admen had not turned it into the Sade lite bleatings of London Grammar.
Like Jamaica, Iceland is a small island with a big reputation- both or fringe rocks that punch way above their weight but unlike the reggae island this is a place of fire and snow that provides a primal geological backdrop to its music.
Tonight you can hear that pagan pulse in the Dead Skeletons – a band who deal with mystery and the ancient and the power of nature in songs that pulse with a feedback drenched wave over their throbbing electronic pulse. They have the charisma of people who have seen to much, felt too much and probably taken too much and stand their in the wind tunnel of their own sound like scrawny priests of madness.
With songs built on pulsing drones and semi whispered yet melodic drenched vocals. Dead Skeletons have a dark undertow to their sound. They are the band of the apocalypse whose mysterio videos got them that mini wave of attention a few years back and were big favourites on this site and with Alan McGee with their Dead Mantra single- a song that sounded like the biggest indie anthem of the year except that indie had been turned into Coldplay by then and was far removed from this experimental and yet genius parallel universe pop music.
There was a time when this scent of danger and whiff of cordite sex was what the underground and alternative music dealt in but fear not the Dead Skeletons have arrived to remind us of the potent power of the true alternative make you think.
Dead Skeletons put the mental into experimental and walk the dark side like modern day Caravaggio’s- as the band truly understand the only true artist is a madman and as their hypnotic music pulses its last throb of danger our hearts break as we head back into the monochromatic modern world.
They are the future if we care to have one.