Wednesday 29 August 2018

Dead Now - S/T (Album Review)

Release date: September 07th 2018. Label: Brutal Panda Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Dead Now – S/T – Tracklisting

2.Ritchie Blackmourning
3.Bird Leaf


Bobby Theberge - Day Old Man
Derek Schulz - Day Old Man
Andrew Elstner - Ex Torche, Tilts, Riddle of Steel


Dead Now is the new band featuring Bobby Theberge, Derek Schulz of Day Old Man and Andrew Elstner from bands such as Tilts, Riddle Of Steel and ex-Torche. Playing a heavy stylized version of Sludge Rock with elements of Psych, Classic Rock, Hard Rock, Stoner Metal and a whole lot of attitude to match.

Dead Now debut self-titled album is a highly confident affair that takes the standard Sludge Rock template and gives it a more self-aware makeover and that’s perhaps down to the wicked humour that is contained within the lyrics and some of the song titles. I’ve always found that with almost every band that Andrew has been a member of that the music has been blissfully heavy but with catchy lyrics to match that sometimes leave you with a smile on your face even when your rocking out to the music.

Bobby and Derek bring a more dirtier and psychedelic sound compared to Andrew’s style of music and that’s no bad thing. As Dead Now have a more vibrant sound than I originally expected.

Opening song – Brunette – is a classic rock/stoner metal hybrid sound with hard-rocking sludgy based guitars that is off-set by a sinister poppy sound. It’s perhaps not too far away from Torche’s standard sound but the music has a more industrial noise rock driven atmosphere. Andrew’s vocals are good as ever. Perhaps his best work since Tilts last album.

Second track – Ritchie Blackmourning – is where Dead Now take influence from the members previous bands and it ends up being one of the albums standout songs. The song has a “Doom-Pop” feel with the band playing fast-paced psych sludge/stoner rock riffs that leave you wanting more. The heavy guitars have a “classic” heavy metal approach that holds everything together. The guitar solos are what make this song one of the best tracks on the album.

Third track – Bird Leaf – sees Dead Now adding a more grizzled Post-Rock feel to their overall sound. The song still retains it’s Sludge/Stoner Rock identity but the band start to adopt a more Alternative Rock flair to their music. Andrew’s vocals are more threatening and quite sincere at the same time. However it’s the backline of Bobby and Derek that impressed me the most on this song. As the heavy drums and pounding bass guitar are quite ferocious and leave you wanting more.

The final two songs – Powershapes and Motorekt – are perhaps the true centrepieces of the album with both songs seeing Dead Now playing a more progressive style of Sludge/Stoner Metal and one that will genuinely excite fans the most. As the music drifts from one heavy level of noise to the next. Motorekt is perhaps the best song on the album as Dead Now let everything out and show you that they mean business with their style of heavy rock/metal.

The only downside is that the only is too damn short running under 23 minutes. Though Dead Now have still managed to release a thrilling and brilliantly entertaining record that will see these guys build a mighty impression with the Sludge/Stoner Metal community.

Watch DEAD NOW soar to greater heights with this album and future releases. Your new favourite band is here…..

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Brutal Panda Records for the promo. Dead Now S/T debut album will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Brutal Panda Records from September 7th 2018.