The Dead Science – Villanaire
I really don’t know what to make of this LP. It has flashes of brilliance, but there’s always the nagging suspicion that this whole LP is a set-up. I want to believe mind, I really do. It’s ridiculous, and over-involved; blessed with an obsessive nature that finds its way into the sleeve art and titles (film students will pick up the Kurosawa reference).
The vocals are histrionic and in yer face very much like the way Monsieur Freddy use to pout & preen into the mic. There are bloody strings, daft tempo changes, and the suggestion that things could erupt into a camp-fest if we’re not careful.
But… but somehow I like it. I can’t help it. The band really goes for whatever eclectic grail they search for. The Dancing Destroyer and Make Mine Marvel are truly great tracks, slightly glam and possessing enough rough edges and sonic mess to make them a truly enjoyable listen. The high register vocals will I am sure, draw lots of instant comparisons from other hacks, suffice to say, Muse, Almond at his most theatrical, Freddy, the lad from Wild Beasts and Justin Thingummy from the Darkness should cover all bases for now.
Oh, and it’s dramatic stuff, did I mention that? A little web-browsing my part has uncovered that this is not their first LP and that two of the band play in Xiu Xiu, (that’s the edgy stuff like Monster Island Czars explained then). There are some cracking ballads on here; Black Lane and Lamentable show this off to fantastic effect. Black Lane in particular is up there with the Associates’ take on Gloomy Sunday for me.
Sod it, give it a listen and prepare for a rollercoaster ride.