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Dead Vibrations - Dead Vibrations

by Sean Hewson Rating:7 Release Date:2018-01-26
Dead Vibrations - Dead Vibrations
Dead Vibrations - Dead Vibrations

This self-titled offering from Stockholm band Dead Vibration is their first album. The fact that they are influenced by The Jesus & Mary Chain and Spacemen 3 is a good start. That they are on Fuzz Club would seem to be a guaranteed winner.

First track, "On A Sunday Morning," starts out with guitars that are on the harsher end of the Shoegaze spectrum; the drums are skippy and heavy on the snare, in an early 90s, post-Baggy way. Christian Jansson and Olov Sjogren’s guitars work well together here – one is grungy, the other cleaner. When it comes to the solo, the other player picks up the main riff from the lead player. The title track rides in on a wave of noise. Again, the guitars are well-balanced, with Elmer Hallsby’s bass acting as a seventh string for the rhythm guitar. There are hints of Radiohead’s "Creep" in the melody. A phased slide guitar starts "Dive With You," followed by a Terry Bickers lead line. Jannsson sings a verse accompanied just by guitars before he is joined by the bass and Josefin Ahlqvist Lyzwiski’s drums. The stop-start nature of the arrangement causes the track to drag a little. "Marbles" starts with the sort of simple, heavy bass line that I adore. The guitar line is again similar to Terry Bickers’ work on the first House of Love album. There is a slight clunkiness in the arrangement that might be cured by familiarity. Sometimes song sections don’t flow together as seamlessly as they might. It also goes on a little bit too long, with an ending that probably works well live, but isn’t really required on record.

"Void" flows better – the bass and drums really driving the song. The constant use of single string lead lines is beginning to wear thin at this point. Penultimate track, "In Habits," starts out slowly with guitar and bass. Jansson’s voice is drenched in reverb. Just in time, the lead guitar has been overloaded with effects and is a welcome new addition to the sound palette. There is still an over-reliance on drums dropping in and out and also changes of bass and rhythm. I suspect that the band like to keep the arrangements fresh and constantly changing. They just need to be a little more artful in the way this is done. "Bitter Better Way" ends the album. The guitars are fuzzy and tremolo arms are pushed.

With some reservations, Dead Vibrations’ debut is a welcome addition to the latest wave of Shoegaze/Noise-Pop albums. My reservations are that the arrangements are slightly clunky as they move between sections. Dead Vibrations shouldn’t be afraid to find a good place and stay there. If it sounds good, it’s not boring. The melodic side could be worked on a bit more too – the vocal and lead melodies could be more inventive. Also, to put my comments in perspective, this is a very early 89/90 sounding album. I saw bands like this, bought their records and wore their baggy t-shirts, so this is less ground-breaking for me than it would be for a younger listener. Having said that, this is a debut record (and a solid one at that). There is more than enough here to create interest in a second album. That is where the real test will come. Do they get stuck or can they kick on? I hope it is the latter.

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