Released two years ago, the Peculiar Pastimes EP unleashed one of our persistently favourite songs of the past few years in the frenetic and inventive shape of its title track. Now its creators, Welsh rockers Dead Shed Jokers return with their new album, a self-titled affair which is fiery and explosive rock ‘n’ roll at its multi-coloured imaginative best. Across eight tracks, band and sound brew a tempestuous and riveting riot of captivating enterprise and incendiary adventure drawing on every form of rock music you can imagine for one individual and exciting devilment.
Hailing from Aberdare/Merthyr, Dead Shed Jokers impressed with debut album Peyote Smile in 2011. It awoke the UK scene to a new almost mischievously inventive band which the Peculiar Pastimes EP reinforced with its title track alone. The rest of its tracks were live cuts which confirmed that on stage the band was just as furiously explosive and compelling too. All the attributes and qualities of both releases have been pushed on again with the Pity My Brain Records released new album, but equally an even greater impacting, attention grabbing diversity and maturity has festered inside the band’s songwriting and sound. The result a release which is as unpredictable as it is stormy and as fascinating as it is immediately contagious.
The album opens with Dafydd’s Song and instantly throws a wall of fiery grooves and imposing rhythms against ears. Its melodic toxicity and scorching guitar endeavour has the imagination whipped up just as quickly too, especially as classic rock tones align to the drama of the vocals now riding the ferocious wave of sound and adventure. There is a theatre to song and sound, something evolving to matching success across the remainder of the album, and coloured by the increasingly impressive vocals and spicy grooving.
From a sensational start things mellow with Delay the Morning. Well for its start anyway as gentle melodies court a scuzzier atmosphere. Once the vocal roar erupts though so the intensity of the encounter grows, every element uniting in a bracing storm of sonic hooks, tangy grooves, and driving rhythms wrapped in raw energy. There is a touch of bands like The Dropper’s Neck and Damn Vandals to the song especially in its punkish psyche lit elements which equally only adds to the intriguing and addictive character of the outstanding creative brawl.
A Cautionary Tale as its predecessor begins its tempting with a gentler coaxing before flexing its rhythmic muscles and sonic sinews for a theatre of explosive rock ‘n’ roll. There is a carnival-esque quality to its underlying swing whilst the busy sounds around it weave a tapestry of everything from alternative and progressive rock to dark and psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll. Intimidating and transfixing, the excellent offering makes way for Memoirs of Mr Bryant, the band’s recent single. Rich in blues hues and face melting energy, the track bellows and stomps with aggression and tempestuous intent, at times seeming to flirt with the senses but for the main treating them to a furnace of invention and power.
The volcanic and ferocity of the album seems to kick up another gear with Made in Vietnam, as does the infectiousness and warped ideation. A rugged assault in some moments, a sultry seducing in others, the track is a maze of sonic endeavour and melodic flaming employing a volatile fusion of stoner, hard, and blues rock. Once again ears and appetite are inspired to offer lustful reactions, as they are also with the enthralling Love is Diseased which follows. Swimming through a psychedelic haze, the song ebbs and flows in intensity, increasingly tightening its grip on thoughts and psyche with vocal harmonies, furious riffs, and sweltering grooving, not forgetting the submerged but open catchiness at its core.
The release is brought to a fine end by firstly the irresistible raucous stroll of Rapture Riddles, a blistering stomp of searing creative intrigue and vocal drama, and lastly Exit Stage Left (Applause). The final song is a voice and piano led calm after the tempest of creative fury igniting the rest of the album, and another enjoyable twist in the adventure of the release. It too has a fierce edge which emerges towards the song’s closing touch showing that even in more peaceful waters there is never a moment where you can make assumptions about the songwriting and invention of Dead Shed Jokers.
Rock ‘n’ roll can come in many forms, and most infused into this album, but often there is that final spark of creative danger and bravery missing. Dead Shed Jokers are fuelled by it and it is at its most accomplished and exciting on their new release. Now it is time for the world to show the same boldness, grab a listen, and reap the rewards.
Dead Shed Jokers is out now via Pity My Brain Records digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/dead-shed-jokers/id983757315 and on CD where the first 100 will receive some extra goodies via https://deadshedjokers.bigcartel.com
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