Highly anticipated by many and set to excite a whole new crowd of hungry appetites for the band’s sound, UK band Deepshade release debut album Everything Popular Is Wrong. It is a masterful and magnetic fusion of alternative and psych rock with grungy tendencies and thick streams of imagination across ten exciting slices of sonic fascination. Imagine The Doors meets Queens Of The Stone Age with the occasional rich tonic of anarchic energy from Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster or Engerica, and you get a whiff of the magnificence lying in wait within Everything Popular Is Wrong.
Wigan bred Deepshade was formed in 2013 by vocalist/guitarist David Rybka, bassist Tom Doherty, and drummer Paul Barlow. Little time passed before the trio enticed a potent and loyal local following and began being featured on the likes of BBC Introducing and numerous shows and alternative radio stations within Britain, Europe, and the USA; The Guardian newspaper announcing Deepshade around the same time one of the ‘Hot Top Ten Unsigned British Bands To Check Out’. Their presence and reputation continues to grow and now with the band recently signing with Ambicon Music Group, the national release of Everything Popular Is Wrong allows the country and beyond to hear why.
Recorded with producer John Kettle (Merry Hell, Moko, Tansads) and mastered by Fran Ashcroft (Spin Jupiter Spin, Gorillaz), Everything Popular is Wrong opens with the tantalising shuffle of Time and an immediate lure of spicy grooves and just as vibrant riffs and rhythms. Seventies spice colludes with nineties fuzziness straight away, whilst an underlying snarl carries an alternative/punk snarl to echo the description given a few lines earlier. The string invention of Rybka matches his vocal prowess whilst the dark lines of Doherty and firm swings of Barlow cast hefty shadows and a driving energy to devour swiftly.
It is a great start but soon put in the shade a touch by its successor and increasingly so by the following pair of songs. The Line is next up and quickly leaps into a bluesy revelry with again irresistible tangy grooves and thumping beats courted by a growling bassline. Feet and hips are soon taken for a feisty ride by the track, its bracing energy as lively and infectious as the fiery nuances toning every subsequent melody and sonic temptation.
Out Of Hand steps up next to raise the bar again, its slower warm stroll hypnotically coaxing sonically entwined ears, subsequently leading them into a web of virulent hooks and melodic incitement. Again there is a raw air and scuzzy hue to it all which only adds to the addictive drama and the gripping tension which seems to breed within the track as it explores its invention and the imagination. As outstanding as it is, Tattoo shows it a clean pair of heels. Released as a free download earlier this year and understandably being part of the reason why so many were hungry for Everything Popular Is Wrong, the song prowls with a flirty if predatory gait and an open creative devilry similar to The Dropper’s Neck, slipping into fierce and fiery expulsions of noisy enticement from time to time too. Quite simply the track is like a lap dance for ears, swinging slim rhythmic hips wrapped in sonic curves with temperatures rising accordingly.
A southern breeze joins the melodic caress of the following Haven’t Said A Word, it a Kyuss like tempting which feeds the dirtily textured crescendos of intensity and emotions which erupt throughout the mesmeric and increasingly evolving croon whilst Bring The Axe Down straight after, twists a rockabilly like riff into a virulent seduction equipped with off-kilter imaginations of sound and theatre. The song is sensational, something akin to Josh Homme and Guy McKnight redesigning Powersolo and ridiculously more addictive with every listen; stealing the show each and every time.
Lowlights arguably carries the thickest grunge hues within the album in its creative body, its Alice in Chains/ QOTSA serenade a rousing proposal often as bruising as it is melancholically reflective whereas The Mud, The Blood, and The Tears (written as The Blood, The Mud, and The Tears on the album cover so take your pick) casts an enthralling bewitchment drawing on essences of Jim Morrison and co, The Walker Brothers, and Pearl Jam, and turning them into something unique and spellbinding to Deepshade.
The final two songs upon Everything Popular Is Wrong ensure the album continues to excite from a great height; Chairman first to spring a gentle yet agitated swing within sultry melodies across atmospheric skies as vocal harmonies captivate and the bass of Tom Doherty devilishly entices against the masterful skittish adventure of Barlow’s swings. Sad Sun has the pleasure of closing up the release and does so in riveting style. It brings all the nastier, scuzzy qualities of the band’s sound out in appealing style but equally the richness of its charmed melodies and smouldering ambiences, all qualities of every song on the release. Here though they all seem to be given full rein to vent or seduce but within a tapestry of craft and invention which ensures it unites perfectly to perpetually beguile and thrill.
Without doubt Everything Popular Is Wrong is one of our favourite incitements of 2015 and hard to imagine it will not be yours too. There is of course only one way to know, so we suggest you go get some Deepshade down you.
Everything Popular Is Wrong is available digitally and on CD from September 25th via Ambicon Records through most online stores.
Pete RingMaster 24/09/2015
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