Dark Without the Death
gibbun | 03/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album is a rare example of that music which manages to be dark and moody without causing involuntary wrist slitting or head-bang whiplash. The opening track, "Dirge", is representative of everything that is great about modern American rock music. The track contains simple, effective riffs obscured by gritty overdrives and thundering bass beats that are utterly addictive. The track also reveals the band's knack for increasing the tension and power in a song without advertising the fact. The result is a song which swells and pumps along, carrying the listener on a musical waterslide until the instruments seem to crash into the pool at the bottom leaving said listener both exhilarated and exhausted.
Try not to feel like a member of the trenchcoat mafia as the album's pivotal track 'Aisha' proclaims: "I think there's something you aughta know. I'm a murderer." The agressive rhythm combines with the sinister lyrics to provoke a sense of latent 'cool' in the listener.
Not all the tracks are stand out. Neither are they all heavy and dark. 'Flying' is one of the best tracks on the album but contains only feelings of airy joy as the various electronic rhythms swoop and, well, fly.
Death in Vegas are a rare breed of artist. They belong to a movement arguably started by the Velvet Underground but now frequented by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, and others. These are the bands that will save the world from hyper-conformist pop. Vive le Death."
One Of A Kind
Timothy B. Oneil | Holyoke MA USA | 10/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's a reason why Ed Simons of the Chemical Brothers is such a huge fan of this disc (besides the obvious one that Richard Fearless is a pal of theirs). It is quite simply one of the most creative and endearing discs to be released in the past few years.I will admit that it took me some time to come around to it. Its dark, at times disturbing... if you are looking for pop-friendly hooks or accesable melodies, this is not the place to go. But if you are in the mood for a richly dense album that will yield great rewards for repeat listenings, this is for you. There are a few stand-out tracks: Dirge is a comparitively quiet intro to the album, a slow-building jazz stomper that acts as a kind of thesis statemtn for the album as a whole. Lever Street is a simple tune, consisting primarily of what sounds to be a Hammond organ - one of the saddest songs I can remember, supremely evocative of heartbreak and despair. Neptune City closes the album - it's one of my very favorite songs, a euphoric capstone to an emotionally draining experience. All in all, I consider this an essential album. It takes your preconceived notions of what electronic dance music can or should be and stretches them like taffy."