Tuesday 15 May 2018


By: Mark Ambrose

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 27/04/2018
Label: Pelagic Records


Whatever discomfort mounts when you listen to “Deads” there’s always a filthy, churning riff or shouted chorus to tug you back towards the joy of top notch music that will probably be blasting through your speakers for the next decade


“Deads” CD//DD//LP track listing

1. Despots
2. Parallels
3. Armada
4. Civilizations
5. Appeaser
6. Deplete
7. Structures
8. Deads
The Review:
It was over a decade ago that I first listened to Deadguy’s “Fixation on a Coworker” – one of the most apt distillations of workday despair I’d ever encountered.  Nihilistic, acidic, indignant at the situation everyone grinding their lives away in corporate America, the sole full-length was already a decade old.  Yet with the 2008 financial crisis on the horizon, my time at college done, and my life consumed by a middling, frustrating job, it felt like it could have been created mere weeks before for an audience of one.   Listening now is both a nostalgic, infuriating experience, because it seems just as prescient over two decades from its inauspicious debut.  If anything, the only marker of “Fixation on a Coworker” that makes it the odd product of the pre-impeachment Clinton 90s is the personal, rather than global, politics of its running obsessions.  Yet no band had as succinctly captured capitalism-gone-haywire nightmares as Deadguy… at least until LLNN’s “Deads”.

A cinematic, ambient introduction sets up an auditory sucker punch from track 1, “Despots”.  Vocalist/guitarist Christian Bonnensen snarls invective like a bedraggled street prophet: “Walk through life with a single purpose. Shirt collar tightens like a fucking noose.  True purpose lies in never punching out.”  For those who have checked work e-mail during a midnight piss, or a vacation, or major life crisis, the words feel equally sympathetic and accusatory.  The rhythm combo of Rasmus Furbo’s monolithic bass and Rasmus G. Serjensen’s drum work convey hardcore ferocity and metal technicality.  On tracks like “Parallels”, there’s a really interesting dynamic between Bonnensen’s guitar and Ketel G. Sejersen’s synth work – it’s hard to tell where one begins and the other ends.  It’s obvious when Sejersen goes off on an interlude (“Civilizations”) or incorporates sampling into “Armada,” but the heavily processed tones of Bonnensen’s guitar make it sound like a dual synth line, while the distortions on the synth push the instrument to its heavy extremes.

On perhaps my favorite track, “Appeaser”, LLNN wrests free of my Deadguy comparison by imbuing their personal politics with global dread.  The apocalyptic scream of “Skies fall and the fire cleanses in its wake / Run amok / The world is yours to take,” is chilling in ways both sublime and terrifying.  The slow ramping up of dread, the tightening of musical tension, makes “Appeaser” a truly devastating masterpiece.  And for all the cinematic, intellectual, or political subtlety on display, the closer “Deads” reiterates the simple power this four-piece can wield with a quiet/loud dynamic and pummeling guitar riffs.  Whatever discomfort mounts when I listen to “Deads” – capitalist existential dread, political despair, the fear that humanity is teasing out its final days destroying the planet – there’s always a filthy, churning riff or shouted chorus to tug me back towards the joy of top notch music that, like “Fixation on a Coworker”, will probably be blasting through my speakers in a decade… barring any catastrophes to match LLNN’s lyrical horrors.

“Deads” is available here

Band info: bandcamp || facebook