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on 23 October 2002
Scorpio Rising sees Death In Vegas moving outwards and outwards into new territory musically. The general musical formula is still the same as The Contino Sessions. To be honest, at times this album is definitely cut from the same cloth as TCS, absolutely no bad thing, the abdundance of both male and female guest singers, the arch combination of a full live band and two DJs/soundscapers.
The first two tracks, Leather, and Girls are basically two parts of the same song, inseperable, (you might as well just call them one song, Leather Girls) and DIV have basically laid out the battle plan for the album with these two songs, before moving into the experimental territory.
Hands Around My Throat is a stonker of a song, funky, catchy, simple yet also has just that enough grit about it. Rad.
23 Lies and Killing Knife are both very delicate songs, female vocals, slight indian/eastern influences, which were first heard on a few tracks on TCS and also later heard in the final track.
Only gripes are that the tracks featuring Liam Gallagher (Scorpio Rising) and Paul Weller (the cover of So You Say You've Lost Your Baby) sound exactly like what they are, tired indie. Scorpio Rising basically sounds like it was lifted off one of the last two Oasis albums, and the Weller song just doesn't fit the album! On the upside they do add a bit of variety, which adds to the albums pretty cosmopolitan feel and when i saw them play Scorpio Rising live they played around alot with it and made it sound like a Death In Vegas song basically. Another thing is when i first heard the song Natja, within 30 seconds i knew this would be the best song on the album. To say i was dissapointed that it turned out to be just an instrumental between songs filler would be an understatement! I know they've done some remixes of this track on the enhanced section of the CD but I haven't heard it yet.
If by track 8 you feel you've wasted your cash purchashing this record, by the time you finish track 10 you most definitely won't have. Diving Horses is pure blissful beauty, consuming, this song will make you cry.
The last song 'Help Yourself' is one of the best songs I have ever heard in my entire life. I won't describe it, just say that you need to hear this song, pure art. This song will make you feel at one with everything with the world and is about as close to an out of body musical experience as you will get.
Basically Scorpio Rising sees a new beast, a diving horse, beauty incarnate, rip out of the chest of the ugly, dirty, gritty stray hound that was The Contino Sessions.
However, it isn't as flawless tracklisting wise, so it loses out on a star, but is more than worth it for the good parts!!
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on 22 August 2002
Death In Vegas strive to add something a little different to modern music with a combination of Dance, Psychedelia and Rock n Roll. 'The Contion Sessions' earned them a Mercury Music Prize nomination and rightly so. This album never quite reaches the heights of the last album but is still a great listen.
The DJing duo have taken on a more Eastern philosophy with this record, evident from the opening 2 tracks 'Leather' and 'Girls', which are really one long track of whirling guitars coming together to some accompanying sighs. Then comes the stand out track of the album, the first single 'Hands Around My Throat'. Drums and bass lines set the tone while the electronic bleeps accompany a striking female voice (Nicola Kuperus from US Techno group 'Adult'). The fact that this song never enters the same league as 'Dirt', 'Dirge' or 'Aisha' ,though, shows really where the album misses out. You never quite get the killer punch.
'23 Lies' is the other class track on the album. Again taking Eastern roots accompanied by a breathy female singer. Superb.
Much will be said of the title track featuring Liam Gallgher. It's a good track but quite frankly sounds like a Beatles/Oasis B-Side and only delays the real ambition of the album. Paul Weller also makes an appearance but again it appears out of key with the rest of the album and is nothing we havent heard many times before on a Paul Weller album.
the album ends marvellously, however, with 'Help yourself'. 12 minutes of airy female vocals and melodies gradually building to the final orchestral crescendo giving the album to a rousing close.
Overall, a very good album thats full of good tracks but lacking a few killer singles.
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on 29 July 2016
Scorpio rising was the track that got me into death in vegas. And i bought the album when i was 18 im now 34 and still loving it today and this comes out with a bonus disc with remixes and extra tracks on disc 1 fan!@#$tastic
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on 22 October 2002
When Richard Fearless used to play at Heavenly Social I listened, and loved it. When he started Death in Vegas and released Dead Elvis I loved it. When The Contino Sessions was released I loved it. When Scorpio Rising came out I lo.. no I didn't like it, I thought Fearless has gone crazy, Liam Gallagher? Paul Weller? what the ???? So I thought play Scorpio Rising vs Dead Elvis and do you know what? The more I played it the more I liked it and the more I played it the more I liked it and the more I played it...
It starts of kind of slow and haunting, then launches with the auto-exotic Hands around my throat, eases up with Gallagher and Weller's contributions (In this reviewer's opinion the best tracks these two soap-dodgers have been on). And then ends with the best advice you can get "Help yourself".
No more nocturnal golf on Clapham Common for Fearless.
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on 8 October 2004
Quality album, there's bit of everthing on this album, there's some belters which feature the modfather Paul Weller and Liam Gallacher and some chilled out tracks which feature Dot Allison, this album is certinaly worth a listen.
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on 13 August 2010
A near modern classic that I feel has been largely ignored. It was the title track that got me into this. A rousing guitar driven electro rocker with Liam Gallagher vocals. I'm not dissing Oasis' work here but I think Liam's voice sounds better over this than just about anything in his former band's catalogue. The only other male vocal on this album comes from Paul Weller on So You Say You Lost Your Body which is used to slightly less effect. All other tracks either use female vocal or are completely instrumental.

There are many different sounds and influences. Every track conjures up a different mood yet, somehow, manages to flow beautifully from the last. The first three sound like Velvet Underground reformed in a Berlin nightclub. The hypnotic 23 Lies sounds like the engine room of this album. It whirrs away producing sparks that dance around in your brain. Help Yourself is a 10 minute long psychedelic dream that closes the album. It is the Indian string in the tail and I wouldn't have minded another 10 minutes. Glorious.
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on 5 September 2007
J. Cumiskey said it best when he wrote in his review of this album: "The last song 'Help Yourself' is one of the best songs I have ever heard in my entire life. I won't describe it, just say that you need to hear this song, pure art. This song will make you feel at one with everything with the world and is about as close to an out of body musical experience as you will get."

Help Yourself is now one of my favourite songs of all time! Trivia: it was used in "The Other Final", a wonderful 2003 Johan Kramer film about a soccer game between Bhutan and Montserrat, the two lowest ranked teams in the 2002 FIFA world rankings. This game was played the same day as the World Cup final between Germany and Brazil. It's a fantastic movie (documentary actually) and the track Help Yourself is played at the climax - brilliant stuff!
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on 13 January 2003
It took my a while to fully appreciate this Death in Vegas album. In my opinion it isn't as easy to listen to as their previous two albums, however onnce you get into the feel of the album it proves highly enjoyable!! I enjoyed most of the tracks off the album apart from the collaboration with a certain Paul Weller. My favourite track is the last one on the album, mainly because it reminds me of 'The Chemical Brothers' track; 'the private psychadelic wheel' from the album 'dig your own hole'.
On the whole this album hasn't let me down, and I'd recommend it to anyone who's bought either of div's previous albums, or to someone with an open mind!
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on 7 February 2003
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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on 15 November 2005
If there is one reason to buy this album, it is to hear the title track, featuring Liam Gallagher. Unfortunately if you are expecting more of the same, then you may be dissapointed. On the other hand you may be pleasantly surprised by the variety in styles - each of which is well worth listening to. Plus there's the fact that the album cover looks amazing! Try it
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