Death Rattles – Death Rattles

In 2011, The James Cleaver Quintet released MonkHammer’s album of the year, ‘That Was Then, This Is Now’, a sprawling, twitching ADD jazz-punk masterpiece that never sat still but found cohesion among its own twisted melodies and kitchen sink attack. Two years and a Lucozade advert later, the band returned with ‘Mechanical Young’, a somewhat bloated, over-egged second-album-syndrome trawl through ideas that were best left crusted to the side of said sink. Enter 2016 and guitarist Maude and live keyboardist Charlie are back as Death Rattles, a somewhat more straight-forward art punk, noise rock project that relies on bass-heavy grooves and spiky vocals to conjure images of CBGBs, back-lit stages and a wilful neglect to conform. Their self-titled EP opens solidly with ‘Insect Heaven’, a slugging blast of punk that suggests the experimental essence of JCQ is alive and well, albeit wrangled into a more standard shape, before ‘JP’ 51’ slows things down for a grinding new wave grunt in the gutter. Track three, ‘G.I.N’, keeps things slow on a wave of filthy, distorted bass, layered with saxophone squeaks that sound like a drunk duck hiccupping, before ‘Black Ivory’ brings the tempo back up for another three minute leg-trembler. Spoken word guff ‘Old Crow’ can do one, but ‘Temple Eyes’ ends the whole sordid affair with a final, ominous, deathly groan. Although the closest comparisons would be McLusky, Exit_International and Gay For Johnny Depp, ultimately Death Rattles are very much their own doomy and fucked up beast, and definitely ones to keep an eye on.

Death Rattles

Categories: Reviews, Single and EP Reviews

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