Across two acclaimed albums Welsh outfit Dead Shed Jokers has already established their sound and songs as something out of the ordinary, openly distinct to most, and perpetually compelling. Add their instinctive nature to push further into their imaginations and you have something which lures keen attention. They are all traits in their music which have collectively escalated in their new album, All The Seasons, an encounter which not only warrants that attention but demands it whilst offering the quintet’s most unique and enthralling moment yet.
Hailing from Aberdare/Merthyr, Dead Shed Jokers first hit our ears and broadly offered praise though debut album Peyote Smile of 2011. After the equally captivating Peculiar Pastimes EP confirmed their potent emergence upon the UK rock scene, the band’s self-titled second album showed even bolder adventure and character in songwriting, sound, and the diversity within both which All The Seasons has managed to not only push on further but open up new avenues of imagination and temptation through.
The Dead Shed Jokers sound is generally described as rock/alternative, an understandably easy option in front of its multi-flavoured and variable tapestry. All The Seasons makes it no easier to define which only adds to the fascination and pleasure of a release immediately unleashing a momentous moment with opener Phantom Pains. Easily the best song to these ears from the band so far, it makes a relatively subdued start but one rich in suggestion and intrigue. Vocal lures add to the track’s quickly growing introduction, each element pure seduction before the swift incitement of Sean Mahoney’s beats sparks a wave of heat courtesy of guitar shimmers alongside a prowling bass. A momentary breath sparks the track’s swinging stroll, the guitars and bass of Nicky Bryant, Kristian Evans and Christopher Metters, all versatile on each across the album, a united flame as Hywel Davies’ ever magnetic tones and delivery open up. As catchy as it is dramatic, the song effortlessly tied up ears and imagination in its thickly flavoured persistently animated rock ‘n’ roll.
All The Seasons never quite reaches those heights again for these ears yet that is only down to the majesty of the first track and no deficits in its successors which proceed with the bluesy holler of Feel Some More. Progressive and indie hues add to its enterprising body, keeping expectations guessing just as the variety in its energy, urgency and emotion. As with its predecessor, there is a theatrical lining in its character and tone, the song like a play for ears and thoughts; a similar essence adding to the prowess of the whole album and next up Dreams of North Korea. A calm start soon erupts in agitation, the cycle repeated with greater drama and intensity as emotional dissonance rises in its heart and roar as another fully loaded weave of flavour catches aflame across its equally varied gait.
The album’s title track is next, its melancholic croon mesmeric in the arms of expressive melodies and Davies’ riveting presence and delivery, the intimacy of words and emotions soaking the ballad inescapable. Much of the album is said to be borne of personal experiences and issues, and no more powerfully and absorbingly than within this and another major highlight of the release.
Aesopica#15 is a engorged sonic shimmer, a slice of wiry, seared rock ‘n’ roll which wraps around the senses with as much mystery as it does seduction before Feel Today shares its mercurial body of drama and energy, it all veined by fiercely heated melodies and hungry enterprise. Yet there are moments it simply sighs with calm resignation to just as firmly grip. The song is a journey for band and listener, one with, as offered by the album for similar focus, greater rewards by the listen.
The broken hearted reflection of 764 provides a less volatile proposal but one which again draws full curiosity through its craft and heart while You’re a Thief brings a boisterous and striking landscape of daring bordering on audacious enterprise with a palette of sounds and flavours to match. The track is superb, another which almost alone makes the price of admission the biggest bargain.
The album concludes with Spanner in the Works and Enough is as Good as a Feast, two songs featuring the synth prowess of album producer Tim Hamill with the second also welcoming the guest cornett of Victoria Davies. The first embraces the most feral yet skilfully composed moment of the album, the band creating sounds with nostrils flared and casting a tempestuous rock adventure which twists and turns like a frantic fiery kaleidoscope. The final track is its own rotation and reflection of intensity and emotion, sonic and melodic gravity cast with compelling emotion and drama within another canvas of multi-influenced sound; one awash with some familiar hues but embraced and turned into something wholly unique to Dead Shed Jokers.
There are moments of the album which leapt from the speakers but just as many that teased, almost taunted attentiveness with the result the same, an eager and increasingly greedy concentration finding, as mentioned earlier, bigger and greater rewards and pleasure.
All The Seasons Is out now via Pity My Brain Records; available @ https://deadshedjokers.bandcamp.com/?fbclid=IwAR0Skx4dkHPz5tPIEyWT707Iu1ZyXro25mLVk9gcHysW95RkxH2cQQf6YSs
Pete RingMaster 090/09/2019
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright