Thursday, June 30, 2011


Prompting me to think of both ‘stonewall’ (“to obstruct or hinder any discussion”) and the more contemporary ‘firewall’, Deadwall appears an odd choice for a band name. It suggests inaccessibility, an unwillingness to cooperate or downright obstinacy. However the five-piece from Leeds are not acting in the spirit of that name: as is de rigueur for any unsigned band, they have tracks streaming on Soundcloud, a moderately active Twitter account and an easily searchable minimalist tumblr website . As well as having the digital tools, the band also has the art-rock-leaning song-writing skills too.

There are five tracks on Soundcloud and embedded into their website; an EP in all but name and physical manifestation. ‘Venus’ Curse’ reminds me of “The Bends”-era Radiohead, when the band (I’m no fan) made the leap from tetchy guitar-rock to something more transcendental, here all shimmering textures with contained tension and seething organ. ‘The Wakefield Questionnaire’ (appearing in tomorrow’s July mixtape) recalls Field Music’s angular rhythms and chunky guitars with a bit of XTC thrown in. The jagged contrasts and falsetto vocals of ‘Curse of the Black Widow’ runs head on at Wild Beasts, deftly getting away even with rhyming ‘hearse’ and ‘curse’, a potential flat-vowelled pitfall. The remaining two songs are a bit more dreamy and drifting - nowt wrong with this but the early momentum of the preceding trio is not maintained as strongly. Yet Deadwall have done enough to show their potential – and I’m drawn to these songs despite not being the greatest fan of any of the bands referenced above.

Deadwall make their Manchester debut this Friday at Night and Day after several months gigging around Leeds and Bradford. I suspect and hope it won’t be their last trip across the M62. “I made a mental note of what it took to succeed” they sing in ‘The Wakefield Questionnaire’. Sharing debut songs this strong is a pretty good start.

Curse Of The Black Widow by deadwall

No comments: