Dead Rider – Chills on Glass


Review by Paul Broome

Drag City

Release Date: 17 March 2014

How can a band so far up my street have passed under my radar for so long? Seriously. As soon as I hit PLAY on this sucker I felt like I had walked through my own front door. This is home. It’s a fucked up, creepy, random, meth den of a home – but it’s my home, nonetheless. I can’t be the only person that somehow missed out on the first two albums from Todd Rittman’s odd-ball crew, but I have a suspicion that I also won’t be the only one who jumps on board the ride at this point – both feet first, safety belt dangling in the breeze.

Dead Rider bring to rock music, the kind of free-form assemblage randomness that cLOUDDEAD brought to hip hop – glitches, skips, mood changes, extended ambient interjections – it’s constantly surprising, but never disappointing. The best description I’ve heard (courtesy of Them Wolves’ Stuart-Lee Tovey after listening to recent single ‘Blank Screen’) is it’s like a TV on the Radio that has been hit on the head with a brick and can’t walk good anymore”.

Experimental doesn’t have to mean unlistenable, and this album is the unapologetically enjoyable, danceable and satisfying end of the avant-garde. At times it slips into the worlds of Lodger-era Bowie or Climate of Hunter-era Scott Walker, some moments conjure the sound-collage/jazz club vibe of David Lynch, while ‘Of One Thousand’ kicks in like a ‘War Pigs’ cover before breaking down and reassembling into a bizarre Roxy-esque glam stomp. Instability never sounded so substantial.

If this review seems disjointed, it’s because that’s what it is. More of the joint, less of the dis.

Let me leave you with this thought. Or paragraph. The life of a modern day music journalist isn’t all about free stuff. No Siree, links to mp3s and jpegs are the spoils of our world, we don’t have the luxury of a second-hand eBay income these days. But every so often I get something to review that is like audio catnip to me – and a zip file of mp3s isn’t good enough. Buy this album. I did. And I already had it.

Dead Rider – Chills on Glass9 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. New Eyes
  2. Blank Screen
  3. Weaves
  4. Weird Summer
  5. Sex Grip Enemy
  6. The Unnatural Act
  7. Four Cocks
  8. Of One Thousand
  9. Cry Honey
  10. Fumes and Nothing Else