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The Fierce & The Dead - Spooky Action CD (album) cover


The Fierce & The Dead


Post Rock/Math rock

4.15 | 18 ratings

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4 stars UK band THE FIERCE & THE DEAD was formed in 2011, more or less by chance, as a part of his solo career that took on a life on it's own in turn lead to the accidental formation of a regular band. The Fierce & the Dead have 3 EPs and two full albums to their name so far. "Spooky Action" is the most recent of the latter, and was released through UK label Bad Elephant Music in 2013.

Describing the music of The Fierce & the Dead is a task I suspect is just about impossible without an encyclopedic knowledge about rock history in my opinion. There are so many and varied subtle nods in a myriad of different directions flavoring the material on this album that I suspect a fairly large piece could be created chronicling the different planned and accidental details in the direction of specific artists, styles and genres. Few of these are dominant, but numerous adds depth and substance to the material. To mention two I surmise are accidental, I can name Lemmy and Tom Fischer.

These are in the smaller details department however, and the more dominant aspects of this fairly quirky production is of a much different character. Among the many recurring features are jazz-tinged details, mainly by the drums and guitars, that there's just about always space for at least some use of textured guitar layers of some kind or other, as well as what I'd describe as a slight tendency to incorporate a sound and style that does bring a curtain punk attitude to mind. Fairly often combined with or alternating with some fairly obvious nods in the direction of a certain Robert Fripp.

Firm, vibrant passages alternates with ones with a looser, more open nature, occasional dips into punk and metal tinged territories is on the order of the day too, twisted, distorted guitar sounds of the tortured variety is as natural an occurrence as free flowing, gentle layered guitar arrangements with delicate support and flowing smooth melodic overlays, a section that appears to be a marriage of ska and punk is as natural here as the Lemmy-era Hawkwind tendencies in the final passages of I Like It, I'm Into It.

This is a production that revolves around being non-conformative, sophisticated and challenging, yet also intriguingly primitive sounding at times. A production that comes across as unplanned, vital and made with an adventurous mind and an improvisational spirit. With tight musicians that know each other well, are safe with each others qualities, and skilled enough to succeed in the creation of challenging escapades, apparently in the spur of the moment.

Whether or not this is an album with at least some material of a more improvised nature or not isn't really important though. The important aspect of this production is that this is a challenging and unconventional CD of instrumental progressive rock. Daring, not always successful, although to what extent will be very much a subjective perception I guess. If you can imagine a project existing within the triangle of post-rock, punk and Frippan tinged excursions, with a bit of weirdness added to it, then you'll have the general idea of what this album is all about. If it sounds interesting, chances are that you'll enjoy this one.

Windhawk | 4/5 |


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