Saturday, 28 May 2016

Death Index - "Death Index" (Album Review)

By: Josh Lee

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 26/02/2016
Label: Deathwish Inc


Death Index” is short but sweet, a romp through some brilliantly presented punk music with an undeniable sophistication to it, culminating in a release both visceral and novel.


“Death Index” CD//DD//LP track listing:

01. Fast Money Kill
02. Dream Machine
03. The Meal
04. Fuori Controllo
05. FUP
06. Little 'N' Pretty
07. Lost Bodies
08. We've Got A Number
09. JFK
10. Patto Con Dio

The Review:

For many people, punk music in its very essence is messy, brutish and crude, though US punk band Death Index’s self-titled debut shows a comparatively different side to the rebellious sound. For what is essentially intended to be a hardcore punk album, “Death Index” is executed with a considerable amount of swagger and braggadocio; between a rumbling rhythm section and fierce guitars is an evidently post-punk influenced vocal delivery that gives this record a notably sophisticated edge. This album’s dynamic of using calm and almost understated vocals coupled with noisy and abrasive punk instrumentation is especially accentuated by the opener ‘Fast Money Kill’, in which front man Carson Cox asserts his command over the instrumentation, sitting atop the chaotic sounds beneath him.

For a record so noisy, each instrument sits at a comfortable distance from the next, helping the record’s clarity remain intact. If in some strange scenario Ian Curtis was introduced to the stylings of American hardcore punk, this is what the imagined result would be. More obvious post-punk influences also find their way into this album through songs like ‘Lost Bodies’, displaying dark, cold atmospheres reminiscent of Joy Division’s debut or the coldwave artists that followed it. The track features brittle, icy synthesizers and eerie echoed vocals in a brilliant meld of atmospheres.

At particular points in this album, it might seem like certain tracks could benefit from slightly longer run times. All other praises withstanding, some of the material on “Death Index” is over almost as soon as it starts; most notably ‘Dream Machine’ and ‘Little ‘n’ Pretty’ are abruptly cut short soon after the 2-minute mark where they simply fade out with little payoff. Granted, this being a punk record, those more invested in the genre may find this less of an issue. Despite this, however, the 7-minute closer ‘Patto Con Dio’ is Death Index’s sole foray into lengthier song structures and it goes over remarkably well; beginning with some heavy and uncompromising noise rock, the song transitions into a dark, atmospheric outro with screeching guitar feedback and whirring synthesizers. Like the song ‘Lost Bodies’ aforementioned in this review, this closer track is ominous and cold, again showcasing the darker side of Death Index’s apparently versatile repertoire. “Death Index” is short but sweet, a romp through some brilliantly presented punk music with an undeniable sophistication to it, culminating in a release both visceral and novel.


Death Index” is available here


Band info: bandcamp || facebook

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