YOU CAN'T FIGHT THE SUN - Dead River Deeps (Waterfront Records)
I first saw this four piece when they launched their EP “You Can’t Fight The Sun” at Melbourne’s Evelyn Hotel in October. There was a definite buzz in the room and the full house lapped up a performance that was professional, rocking and joyous. It felt great to be part of it.
The Dead River Deeps cross Oz rock with Americana alt country, and present one after another shamelessly beautiful and well-crafted songs. Their music creates visual images of everything from empty city streets to train jumping, bar brawling and stargazing. Neil Young in all his guises, the Rolling Stones meet Gram Parsons, the Jayhawks and the Go Betweens are all influences here.
Through the sweet mysterious feels of “You Let Your Guard Down” which evoke The Band, and the Supergrass style singalong of “Dead Star In Your Eyes,” Dead River Deeps cement all the modern nuances that make music interesting. “Son Of A Bitch” thumps with a vengeful ‘track you down and kill you’ determination. These guys know how to write a hook, how to make a song instantly accessible and how to hold an audience’s attention throughout. I’d almost forgotten how appealing that is.
The sweet desperation of “Out Of My Hands” and “Fell Back Again” highlight singer Lincoln McKinnon’s righteous and cool vocal, sparring with Dallas Gale’s understated guitar licks. The solid swing and tight rhythms of Mat Evans and Andy Simpson keeps this five track EP moving, with a warm harmony of band backing vocals throughout.
There can be an attitude in rock’n’roll that says what has gone before is all there is. Often new bands are too constrained by their influences to have a little fun with their ‘genre,’ daring only to be re issued, re heated, or somehow re hashed. But rock’n’roll ain’t no karaoke competition, nor is it a summer camp for sad boyfriends. That’s why it’s so damn exciting to be in the right place at the right time when something strong, talented and original like the Dead River Deeps crack through the ice and demand your attention. Make no mistake, these guys are contributing a new cool to the rock’n’roll lexicon, and I for one can’t wait for what comes next. - Robert Lastdrager
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