This, the second of Dead! Dead! Dead!'s fourfold demonstration discs, finds the band delve more into the depth of musical light-and-shade (mostly shade) that was suggested in the wealth of ideas on their first EP. The band seem more confident not only in their musical ability but also their willingness to bare yellowed, blood-stained fangs. Although many of these tracks display Coral-like features such as spiky-but-jangly guitars, ¾ time signatures, ominous choral moments and frantic rhythms, the overall mood seems to lean too close to bloodshot Wicker Man-style tendencies for comfort. Which, of course, makes the Dead! all the more exciting a prospect.
From the off, with the reverberating tension in 'Mightiest Melodrama Of Them All', the snarling and yelping puts everything on a tantalising edge. Although in places, particularly in 'Sex At Gunpoint', the lack of lyrical subtlety can work to their disadvantage in creating darker tones, the song is saved by its own schizophrenia, switching as it does to twitchy wig-out three minutes in. And, whilst 'Colours 123' threatens to end this quarter-hour on a whimper, it builds enough atmosphere and oomph to assert their musical prowess.
It's 'Jack The Ripper (With A Spanish Twist)' that seems to sum up best the undertones that "Dead! x 3" are flirting with most at present, coming on as typically English in its sadistic eccentricity as slipping arsenic into your PG Tips. It also begs the question why this lot are a secret so well kept for so long.
8Thomas Blatchford's Score