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The Dead Science

Crepuscule with the Dead Science

(Slender Means Society; US: 26 Sep 2006; UK: Unavailable)

On their follow-up to 2005’s oft-swinging and battering full-length Frost Giant, the Dead Science return here in ‘06 with an EP of haunted adagios, Crepuscule with the Dead Science. The mood of this new disc carries over from previous slowly churning tracks like “Sam Mickens’ Dream” (that’s the band’s singer referring to himself), “Film Strip Collage”, and “The Ghost Integrity”. Those listeners who are accustomed to the Dead Science’s more predominant style, which fuses the dark dissonance of early Nick Cave to Tortoise-like, jazzy post-rock, might be disappointed by this EP’s creeping creepiness. Actually, I expect this disc would disappoint a lot of people. It barters in weirdness more so than musicality, tossing eerie noises over Mickens’ high, unsteady tenor, as if the band were scoring an oddly mournful scene in a B horror flick. The exceptions are “Displacer Beast” (smartly chosen by the label to promote the album) and “All Ye Whom Love of Fortune” [sic], a Renaissance-era song from composer John Dowland (which actually bears the much cooler title “All Ye Whom Love or Fortune Hath Betrayed”). While retaining the same downcast mood as the rest of the EP, those two cuts are more focused and darkly beautiful. The four other tracks try too hard and fail to connect. If this is meant to be a new direction for the band, they oughtta turn back now. The Dead Science are headed for a dead end.

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Michael Keefe is a freelance music journalist, an independent bookstore publicist, and a singer/guitarist/songwriter in a band. Raised on a record collection of The Beatles, Coltrane, Mozart, and Ravi Shankar, Michael has been a slave to music his whole life. At age 16, he got a drum set and a job at a record store, and he's been playing and peddling music ever since. Today, he lives in Oregon with his wife (also a writer, but not about music), two cats, and a whole lot of instruments and CDs.


Tagged as: the dead science
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