Dead Sons: The Hollers and the Hymns – album review
Dead Sons: The Hollers and the Hymns (Bereyt Records)
Dead Sons has just released a new album of their trademark neo-psychedelia which Louder Than War’s Chris Hearn has been checking out for us.
This is a very good band indeed. After a ton of listens, I can honestly say that I like what Dead Sons have put on offer with ‘The Hollers and the Hymns’. This is an album with a damp, deep mature sounding darkness to it, thanks in no small part to Thomas Rowley’s robust, exquisitely vampirical voice. He sounds like a Dead Son, literally.
Combine Rowley’s voice with a solid, controlled, rocked out sound, with heavy dosages of blues and psychedelic-ness and you have a moody album that takes you into the deep dark woods after midnight and severs off your head. Lovely, lovely stuff! Single ‘Hangman’ pretty much sets the tone for this album, both lyrically and sonically. It’s dimly lit video is a visual treat as well. And, the heavy pounding of the bass drums gives it a tribal feel, as well as makes the drummer look like he’s earning every penny with the brute force he seems to put behind each wack!
‘Hold On’ is pretty much straight forward blues, with distorted megaphone/cheap tin microphone vocals which hints heavily where the root of this band lies. ‘Love As Good As Ours’ is full out garage rock which hints heavily to where even MORE of their roots lie. And ‘Shotgun Woman’ is a dark, noir almost 70s classic rock song where Thomas’ vocals combined with dark, noir lyrics that involve death, love and sex. It is nicely accompanied by a low budget, but well done video of the band in blood red flood lights showing off their choreography skills in what appears to be an empty, disused warehouse. It’s a really good video that shows off the personality of the band and shows that they aren’t all horror movie chic, but also b-movie camp!
According to their PR, they are compared to Queens of the Stone Age and The Arctic Monkeys. Those are sort of fair comparisons, but they have an added creepiness that puts them into a slightly different category, an almost psychobilly or horror punk addition (see ‘Ghost Train’) that makes them a bit rougher, rawer and darker than their contemporaries. In fact, I think their sound is far more interesting than either QOTSA or the Arctic Monkeys and I far prefer this album to any I have heard from these other bands. These guys are good, there is no doubt about it.
Dead Sons has a wonderfully seductive thing going on here. They are an impressive band that has produced a cool sound that would provide a solid bedrock to a Tarantino film. It’s just cool, dark, moody, yet personality filled rock and roll with a garage, punk and blues base. Very cool, very sexy, very appealing, very talented, very Dead Sons. I suspect seeing them live would be a treat indeed.
Words by Chris Hearn. More writing by Chris on Louder Than War can be found here.