Dead Rider – Chills On Glass (Drag City)

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Yes. Fucking yes. Yes yes yes. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing until it’s smashed into your face, and this album, all covered in glitter and blood and shit strutted into my life like a twitchy, beautiful glamorous brain haemorrhage just when I needed it. Have you given up on rock music ? Do you remember what it was like to hop from foot to foot in gleeful expectation because a new album was coming from some band, and that band was so awesome and great that you knew….JUST KNEW….that the album would be full of jaw-dropping ideas and crazy shit that was like listening to music as you know it, but through a fantastical audio prism that threw what you knew into some sort of intriguing new light that you suspected may have existed but only in theory ? Well Dead Rider have taken the staid, backward looking sound of guitar based rock and smashed it with the great big stick of technology until it’s insides have squirted everywhere, then attempted to mend the whole thing with feather boas and nails and pouting.
This album is so full of ideas, on every musical plane from production to playing, that I feel embarassed for all the other albums that are going to have to compete with it. To be fair, this album is so defiantly weird and radiates so much febrile sexual energy that it is going to go way over the heads of the average listener. Compressing glitch, dub, rock, avant-garde, noise, glam, metal, jazz and a whole bunch of other musical types into one album and sometimes one song is going to infuriate listeners who aren’t interested in progressing their musical knowledge, but for obtuseophiles like me it was like 36 minutes of heaven (or another non-delineated metaphorical utopia). The good news for Dead Rider is that not only have they managed to make an extraordinary album bursting with ideas that can quite happily turn its nose up at most of the other releases I’ve heard this year, but they’ve actually managed to make it danceable. Check out the sleazy glam rock of “Of One Thousand” which bursts into your ears like a horde of greased up strippers, running round blowing air horns and screeching before slouching off into low bit rate noise and obscurity. If I had to try and draw some comparisons for this album, it would be like some mythical band that fulfilled the promise of Jane’s Addiction but married to the aggressive technological advances of Nine Inch Nails, fronted by David Bowie on mescaline. Does that sound good to you ? Well lump in some of the best song titles ever (“Sex Grip Enemy”) and some really great album art and you have “Chills On Glass”.

100,000 dodecahedrons

Kim Monaghan

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