10 of 20 people found the following review helpful
The Repeto Sessions,
This review is from: Scorpio Rising (Audio CD)
Death in Vegas' first album slouched broodily in the 'best album of the year/1990's/1890's/ever' bar. It was badly lit and little known, but anyone who offered it a drink soon realised it had full member status. Few stayed to chat, as 'Dead Elvis' became morose after its second tequila, and those who did were found comatose and alone by the end of the night.
Really, it was quite good.
Listen to the first three songs on Dead Elvis and you will suspect a band of endless variety, consumate musical knowledge and a shape shifting sound, layering organ riffs, husky guitars and jubilant celebration over a taut central theme. The latter half of the album drifts off into skeins of blurred conciousness, only to come sharply back into focus at the end. It was more than music, it was an attitude to life.
Then they slipped, but not far enough to write them off as a one album band.
The title of their second album 'The Continuo Sessions' is emblematic of what is good and bad about DIV: They thrive on repetition.
Scorpio Rising has as many different musical styles as Dead Elvis (it even takes on Chinese opera in 'Killing Smile'- it fails, but you love them for trying), that is not the repetition I mean. The songs themselves are repetitive: they take one theme or bass sequence and re-iterate it. Although most dance music does the same, dance/ambient/techno productions leave much more space around their themes so you do not notice the repetition so much. DIV are much tighter and closer to a traditional band structure so it stands out more.
When this works, yes it really, really works, but when it is bad, it is boring. The standout best example of this is 'Your hands around my throat' which starts a two note melody line, only to trip you up with an unexpected, counterpoint rhythm. This then carries the whole song, with its darkly S&M lyric (reminiscent of the murderous intent in their previous Aisha). It is this sparse, unindulgent yet unhinged force that is great about DIV. The worst example of this repetition is one of the later tracks - It is so dull (four-ever chord sequence) i cannot remember which, but a good proxy are the Liam Gallagher/Paul Weller contributions. It is at these moments that you suddenly feel conned - 'wait a minuite is this stale indie guitar rock i've been listening to all this time?'
Death in Vegas are not a stale indie band, they are schizophrenic geniuses capable of building visceral tornadoes of sound. However when they lose their discipline they are like an english rainstorm - all bluster.
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Initial post: 15 Oct 2011 20:29:16 BDT
Emile Nawagmauwa says:
Wow. I have never seen such an utterly self indulgent arrangement of words.
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