Though they made a pretty instant splash in the pool of attention and praise with their debut, the Dead Retinas vs. The World EP back in 2012, it is fair to say that the UK band has simply grown in strength, sound, and in luring praise ever since. Each subsequent release from that potent first has provided a rousing proposition with the Manchester band’s most striking yet coming in the shape of their new creative offensive, the Divine EP.
Without doubt there has been a fresh attack and imagination in the band’s writing and hardcore/punk bred sound with every release but now real maturity and a deviously manipulative essence has emerged. It was intriguingly hinted at within the 2017 released Coup De Grâce and now has become an uncompromisingly stirring force within its successor, Divine. An unscrupulous fusion of hardcore and noise punk, the new Dead Retinas offering provides three tracks which stalk the senses and bait the spirit whilst revelling in that new breath of adventure in the band’s sound. The EP is also the first release with the band’s new line-up in full antagonistic roar, a creative holler seeing Dead Retinas stalking the reputation of punk’s heavyweights.
The Laurie Morbey produced Divine opens up with Gold in Monochrome and immediately descends on the senses and nerves with a predatory rhythmically prowling groove. The vocals of CJ Smith are just as swift, bawling almost brawling in ears with his usual potent presence. The guitar of Jack Thompson springs his scything lures and nagging hooks soon after as the swinging beats of Chris Heath batter already beleaguered but devouring senses. With the bass of Chris Gaduzo continuing its almost guttural tempting, the track writhes and twists as it rages; raw flirtation and invasive invention fuelling it’s unpredictable and seriously enjoyable enterprise.
The following You Go Glen Coco is just as compelling and insatiable in its antics. It too moves with the lust of a whirling dervish but with a composure which just accentuates its carnivorous intent. Again the band casts grooves which easily and quickly got under the skin, rhythms voracious with their own infectious animosity and all combined creating an increasingly expanding and imaginative infestation of sound and dissension.
By no means left behind in creative prowess, final song An Exercise in Bad Taste erupts in ears with immediate hostility, Smith again leading the trespass as rhythms malevolently dance and the sonic toxicity of Thompson’s strings blazes. Once more imagination soaked unpredictability infests the track, its movements often bordering on the spasmodic but with a fluidity which makes for an unrelenting molestation and pleasure.
As seems to be the trend with Dead Retinas releases, Divine reveals new growth in their sound and creative adventure but one which easily overshadows anything before it and so much so that the band might struggle to eclipse it next time but then again this is Dead Retinas…
The Divine EP is out November 30th, available @ https://deadretinas.bandcamp.com/album/divine as well as Spotify, Apple Music etc.
Pete RingMaster 30/11/2018
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