Dead Rider - Chills On Glass - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Dead Rider - Chills On Glass

by Nathan Fidler Rating:7 Release Date:2014-03-17

If you had to call Dead Riders anything you might call them experimental rock, sharing the lusty, dark whispers of Queens of the Stone Age and the glitchy sounds of Minus the Bear. In truth though, you have to hear them to get an idea of what is so unsettling yet moreish, and what better way than with their latest effort Chills on Glass.

Their approach seems to be to mix songs up like cocktails, throwing a beat, a melody and an atmosphere into a shaker and then throw it around a bit. As you might imagine it can bring out some odd but likeable results, but equally it can throw up a dud, like ‘Weird Summer’ which is like a weird beat-poem with nothing to really attach yourself to. ‘Weaves’ however has a soulful, funky vibe over some skittish drum and guitar work, Todd Rittman begging you to let him find his keys.

It all sounds like a bit of a jumble, a harmless jumble, but when you hit ‘Sex Grip Enemy’ things start to get real. A construction site of an intro turns into a throbbing, stomping tune and culminates in the confusing, but brilliant and confident utterance of “sex grip, enemy, peanut butter”. From here it’s clear that there is no blueprint for these guys, they do as they please, blending rock with whatever they fancy, some acid jazz, some electronic (‘Cry Honey’) and even hip-hop.

Their disregard for the conventional set up of a song, such as on The Unnatural Act seems to follow John Frusciante down the rabbit hole of distorting sounds – all sounds, nothing is off limits – into something that little bit more unusual. It gives some interesting results but, as previously mentioned, gives some not-so-pleasing-to-the-ear ones too.

Clearly this is a band which can do outright rock, if nothing else, with great conviction. The creepy and suggestive lyrics of ‘Of One Thousand’ strut across a choppy, bouncing guitar and bass combo, Rittman asking “can you do the donkey?” and “can you do the bag of hammers? Baby, can you do the box of rocks?” you have to hope these are dances rather than sexual positions as he urges children’s and newborn babies to watch...but that’s what you get when you try to push for the weird and unique sounds in music.

It’s something not many people will take to their bosoms but those who do will love every second of it, there is both a dreamy atmosphere and a nightmarish charm to what these guys do, like watching a wall of televisions all at once. Chills On Glass seems quite a fitting title then.

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