Wednesday 2 September 2015

Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats - The Night Creeper

Release date: Sept 04th 2015. Label: Rise Above Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Night Creeper: Tracklisting

1.Waiting For Blood
2. Murder Nights
3. Downtown
4. Pusher Man
5. Yellow Moon
6. Melody Lane
7. The Night Creeper
8. Inside
9. Slow Death

Band Members:

Uncle Acid - Lead Guitars, Organ, Vocals
Yotam Rubinger - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Itamar Rubinger - Drums
Vaughn Stokes - Bass


When I first heard Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats I didn't like it. Not one bit. So I dismissed them and moved on. It wasn't until one evening whilst enjoying a spot of Shithead Roulette with my house mate and a few friends that something came on the iPod and after a while I noticed I was nodding my head and tapping my feet along to it, so I asked who we were listening to. You can probably work out the answer that came back. (If you're struggling, move along. There's nothing here for you.)

So fast forward a few years and here I am with a copy of their newest release "The Night Creeper" and the enviable task of reviewing it. If I'm honest initially it's a record I struggled with. It's not the record itself, but it's the production. This isn't to say it's produced badly, it's just not what I'm used to.

I get it. I get it's part of the sound they are aiming for, but it feels like they've taken it a step further this time. For example, on one of the records calmer tracks "Slow Death" you can hear a constant hiss in the background sitting behind the floating guitar chords, and nimble fret work which on my first few listens I found a little distracting.

However, this is my only gripe and coming from a chap who has a few early Darkthrone and Mayhem records I shouldn't really get too caught up in production values, because the tracks that are on this record are pretty much everything you want from an Uncle Acid record.

A bit of fuzz, some slight feedback and the record kicks off with "Waiting For Blood". This song is 100% hook and is destined to be sung back to the band in arena's and at festivals all over the shop. Maybe it's touring with Black Sabbath and the venues they played in, but pretty much all of the songs on "The Night Creeper" sound like they should be played in a stadium.

Take "Pusher Man" as the perfect example of this. Brimming full of swagger, accentuated by some excellent drumming and a catchy and hypnotic riff, beautiful background harmonies and a chorus bigger than David Cameron's forehead. (Seriously. It's that big)

And while we're talking about swagger we should talk about the title track "The Night Creeper" itself. It's like a blues riff, peppered with ace drum fills and those anthemic vocals that I'm starting to expect now. About halfway it drops into a nice little middle eight with some samples over the top (although I struggled to make out what's actually being said) before picking the pace up again, with some nice dual guitar work and the bass roaming free under another sweet solo.

It's a very confident track and showcases just how good technically the band are on their chosen instruments. Penultimate track "Inside" for some reason makes me feel that this is what The Beatles could have sounded like if they had experimented with harder drugs. (1. I'm not suggesting that any drugs were involved in this record. 2 Just say no kids. Have a nice glass of squash instead)

The aforementioned "Slow Death" closes the record and feels like a fitting conclusion.

After a few listens my initial issues with the production disappeared because of how good the record is, made me forget. And when I said I get it at the start? Now I really get it. I know there are a few people who have this same concern and a few people who say Uncle Acid aren't doing anything especially original. And maybe they aren't, but it's the way that they do it. The production, the songs and that little air of mystery are what transport them and make them stand out above the rest and what makes this an essential purchase.

A bold and confident record, and one that improves with each and every listen.

Words by Simon Ross Williams

The Night Creeper is available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from 4th September 2015 via Rise Above Records.