The Dead 60s - The Dead 60s

A series of vote-winning performances, both supporting bigger bands and hanging tough on their own, have seen the Dead 60s claim a very loyal, hardcore fanbase and win mass media applause for their eclectic, bouncy demeanour. As easy as it is to overhype a band in its formative days and preordain them ‘the next big thing’ before they’ve had a chance to even take their first baby steps, for untold reasons the media shyed away from this option with the Dead 60s, instead treating them with much respect.

So how to sum up their music prior to analysing it for the masses? For me, this is how Ian Brown would sound if he ditched his Mancunian drawl and lived in an amalgamation of his eclectic influences. That’s not to say that this album is derivative in any way, nor is it drowned out by too many ideas. Instead, the band smoothly blend an array of sounds, feelings, ideas, noises, riffs, roles and general ‘bigness’ into one polished product, and it works.

Opening track, Riot Radio, lays down the law early. Rock? No! Pop? No! Dance? Nope…this is real ‘reggae rock’, which, indeed, is indefinable by its own definition, and immediately you are sent on a wild musical trip, but which of the many genres on offer will you land safely in? All and none- you just keep on riding the clouds in the sky, hopping from one to another with the incandescent sounds of a band determined to take you home.

Not ones to carefully build on themes and ideas, the Dead 60s unleash their whole arsenal of fierce crowd pleasers (Loaded Gun, Red Light) deep-thinking melodrama (Soul Survivor, Horizontal) and out and out immeasurably pleasurable insanity (We Get Low, The Last Resort) but, in truth, each of the above categories could apply to any song on the album and be a fair assessment. Technically proficient, the band show themselves capable of taking you on a journey you never thought possible. Not into your soul, but into the deepest recesses of your psychedelic mind. It’s a heady ride, but one I’m sure you’ll enjoy!

The final rack, You’re Not The Law, is a potent album closer, cementing the listener’s newfound (and most likely very deep) relationship with the band, but also enabling a fond farewell. Clearly, this isn’t goodbye- you know when the last pangs of the song fritter out that this band will come again. When and where, it’s hard to be sure, but there’s a lot more life in them yet, let me assure you.

So, in summing up, is this a great album? I really don’t know- I was way too busy enjoying it to perform a proper analysis! Sure, there may be bigger, better bands out there, but given the recent produce from the likes of Franz Ferdinand, would you dare not keep this album near to your CD player?

Matt Barnes

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