Coming to us from Madrid, Spain, moody alternative rock trio Deadman bring to mind early-era Radiohead, The Cure, Placebo, Joy Division, The Smiths and The Pixies. This is not at all a bad thing, as few bands do it well. Deadman take both brit pop and goth rock to heart, and marry the two. The stories of isolation are familiar and at times sound like gripes coming from a former self, albeit one that you willfully go on a self-destructive drinking binge with every once in a while. “Out Of My Head” opens with the Morrissey-esque line “I know it’s all over. It’s all in my head.” before the rhythm section (Dave Robinson on bass and Oscar Munoz on drums) kicks in successfully with some 90’s inspired doomed grooves. When vocalist Steve Henty lets loose, practically screaming “I can’t get your song out of my head”, it’s easy to detect similarities between his approach and Peter Murphy of Bauhaus. There is a balance here between typical formula and a noisy, slightly gothic edge that gives Deadman an appeal to fans of harder rock music.
On “Gorgeous Waste Of Time”, the first artist to come to mind is perhaps the insanely popular Jarvis Cocker-led sensation Pulp. Depeche Mode too, especially with Henty’s at times overly dramatic delivery. With a cheeky attitude and pop sensibility to spare, all the performances are engaging, edgy and catchy. The fact that so many similar artists are being mentioned here should tell you that Deadman don’t like to stray too far from their influences. This can work in their favour (on tracks like “Gorgeous Waste Of Time”) and they even occasionally transcend their style with hints of greatness.
Deadman shows great potential to evolve within and around the solid mood rock framework they’ve set up for themselves. Rock is supposed to be moody, isn’t it? Perhaps our modern era of “cuteness” could use a dose of dreariness, or at least variety to even the score. The 80’s have been rehashed by thousands of indie and electro acts over the past 10 years. The 90’s are next, and once that wave rises again, you can bet that Deadman will be riding it, making some memorable music in the process. Forgetting about genre completely, here’s the point. There is talent here. Recommended for fans of Pablo Honey era Radiohead in particular.
Find out more about the band at Deadman’s official website.