Described as “…a cyclical tale of a foolish ghost with a broken heart…” the new EP from US outfit Dead Coyote is a theatre of fun and adventure, one which quite simply harassed the ears, haunted our imaginations, and left our blood pumper full with inescapable addiction.
Take one part Wolver, one part Oingo Boingo and an equal portion of Cardiacs, give it a breath of Edgar Allan Poe through the lungs of Tim Burton and spark it to life with a far bigger charge of uniqueness and you find something akin to the glory that is Apparitionata and its “love letter to campy horror musicals of the likes of Rocky Horror Picture Show, Phantom of the Paradise, and Little Shop of Horrors.”
South Dakota bred Dead Coyote was formed circa 2008 by pianist/guitarist/vocalist Zach Retzl and drummer Jonathan Ventrella. After a hiatus when the pair spent their respective stints in the USMC, the band returned in 2015, now Portland based, and unleashed ferocious debut album xYx. The addition of bassist Izabella Weiss three years later helped fire up a fresh direction to their sound leading to the acclaimed Feed the Raven with another want in their evolution seeing the band embrace the flavour of a Yamaha DX-7 Synthesizer and the craft of Adrian Retzl, Zach’s younger brother.
The Covid pandemic curtailed the involvement of the whole band in creating Apparitionata but it has not stopped it emerging one of the year’s most compelling and fun moments through the singular writing and creative theatre of Zach and Jonathan.
From the moment Prelude sweeps back the curtains, the EP’s show gripped ears and imagination; the classical tint of keys and the gothic operatic lust of vocals swiftly setting the scene and tone. As quickly though, mischief and humour are in rich supply, lining the piece before erupting as bold enterprise within the following Leave Me in the Ground. The track stomps in, its rhythms bold and melodic countenance quirky as keys cast their off-kilter swing which in turn inspires the gait of the whole incitement. The track is superb, drama and devilment soaking every note, syllable and intent, even teasing with a slight Faith No More meets Queen scenting.
The following Lazy Ghost rises up on a spectral breath, almost taunting the imagination with its lures and essences before again keys and rhythms weave a canvas of intimation and temptation which voice and invention further shapes. If without the urgency of its predecessor, the song’s catchiness is also virulent and lustily delivered being further aided by the funk nurtured stroll of guitar and the disembodied backing tones of Adrian Retzl and Sam Matson.
My Hiding Place brings the release to a just as resistible close, weaving its own peculiar web and lure of captivation rich with a Dr. Caligari type hue. Hungrily rousing, creatively anthemic, and masterfully involving the track is a full theatrical/cinematic roar of sound and fertile imagination not forgetting unconventional revelry.
With the additional potent of vocals Ibolya Mandoki an inescapable call throughout, Apparitionata is simply superb, a spooking and haunting of the senses and pleasure no one should fear opening their attention to.
Apparitionata is out now and available @ https://deadcoyote.bandcamp.com/
Pete RingMaster 13/05/2021
Copyright RingMaster Review