Band â€â€œ Dead Spex
EP â€â€œ Rats Together
Label â€â€œ none (free download from website)
Sounds like â€â€œ short, sharp stabs of punk rock/hardcore.
Itâ€™s interesting how you go about discovering music. The internet is directly responsible for much of what I listen to nowadays, but so is Rock Sound and I suppose, word of mouth. This is one of the first bands though has been recommended to me through an origami mouse sent in the post alongside a Glassjaw, Thursday and Eden Maine album. Yâ€™see, the guy who sold me said CDs, included this dinky folded paper figure, with a web address scribbled on the side and info on a free 3 track EP to download. Naturally I would never turn my nose up at free music and went for it.
Dead Spex are a trio of noisy bastards from Nottingham/midlands area and have thankfully spared us from hearing songs about Robin Hood. Itâ€™s difficult to actually make out what theyâ€™re singing about, as the vocal attack ranges from slurred ramblings, to discordant screams and some brilliant overlaps, as the two (possibly three) voices meld into a twisted wreckage of conflict. Dead Spex exist with the world of snappy, acerbic punk rock that feels like some malevolent gremlin chucking sharpened stones at your head.
Somewhere within, lies the scrappy hardcore template that was created by Minor Threat, combined with their twisted, snotty attitude of ‘I donâ€™t give a fuckâ€™ mentality, especially on ‘Eating Teeth.â€™ The guitars on ‘Friends ofâ€™ gives a nod towards the cutting barbarity of Hot Snakes (see ‘Suicide Invoice‘ era), whilst the vocal-back-and-forth is reminiscent of two rivals having a shouting contest over some incredibly jarring post-punk. This notion is further emphasised to even greater effect on ‘Wiresâ€™ with both vocalists screaming their faces blue and larynxes red raw, whilst the rickety rollercoaster of almost early Husker Du-hardcore rattles over the top. The stabbing, jagged opening is a sharp, bitter vision of clattering, dishevelled drumbeats and fuzzed out scrawls of fury.
Dead Spex have got that fragmented, ramshackle sound that really does appeal â€â€œ itâ€™s similar to how I like my steaks â€â€œ rare, a bit bloody but full of flavour. Now, if that crap analogy hasnâ€™t left you with your mouth watering and the need to download this EP, Iâ€™m not sure what will. I strongly recommend this for all those who enjoy 2 minute blasts of scuzzy noise-punk.
By Ross Macdonald