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Dead Skeletons - Live in Berlin

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 15 / 5 / 2016

Dead Skeletons - Live in Berlin
Label: Fuzz Club
Format: CD


First-rate live album recorded in Berlin from psychedelic Icelandic band, Dead Skeletons

Fuzz Club is a relatively new label to me. It first appeared on the psychedelic scene in 2012, and I first became aware of it because of their now famous split ten inch singles by bands such as the Telescopes, Sonic Jesus and A Place to Bury Strangers. Dead Skeletons are a band that I knew nothing about beforehand, but this is a beyond brilliant introduction to them. I always state that the real bond between the punter and the band is through live experience, not just by buying a record and they prove that here. The artwork was created on the night by a painter who paints while the band plays, turning this more into a Warhol/Factory/Velvet Underground like experience than a mere gig. It was recorded at the SO36 club in Berlin on the 4th December 2013 to promote their then single 'Om Varja Sattva Hung'/'Dead Comet'. They live by the mantra of "He who fears death cannot enjoy life" and as a cancer sufferer I totally get that. The first two tracks have Icelandic titles. It opens with 'Om Varja Sattva Hung'. This totally captures the feel of a real band playing live. it slowly builds up an atmosphere before there is a sudden rush of excitement later on. It reveals a band in complete control, and who know it. Drums kick in at around the four and a half minute mark, and it glows in the dark like the best of the early Bunnymen. It is hypnotic and charming, and I became a fan before even heard any vocals. When it finally appears, Jon Saemunder Auðarson's vocal is under-played and weaves and dances in and out of the loudness that melted me immediately to the sticky floor. 'Om Mani Peme Hung' comes into town like early U2 when they still had a young edge but this is more clever, reminding me of the early 80's neon USA Psych scene. 'Buddha Christ' is more garage-flavoured. Imagine a more rockabilly Cramps with the menace of A Place to Bury Strangers. 'Kundalini Eyes' is more jagged, like Bauhaus jamming with the Raveonettes, a head-turner dressed in black. 'Psycho Dead' has the most crisply delivered vocals of the evening. It remains morbid and bleak, combining Will Sergeant-style riffs with bass beats which sound like a drum machine. I really like this band. 'When the Sun' is almost a harder-edged re-write of the Bunnymen's '87 hit, 'Bring On the Dancing Horses', while Jon's vocals tease in a Jim Morrison manner, being both university clever and just toying with us. 'Dead Comet', the B-side that they were promoting on the night, is heavy and spiritual like a hypnotic Stooges. 'Get on the Train' feels like a ride on an escaped out-of-control steam train moving at 100 miles per hour, and, as groovy as the Seeds, is both catchy and packed with beats. 'Kingdom of God' is very addictive, recalling the Velvet Underground, while 'Dead Mantra', the closer, is drawn out and chunky, and definitely makes me want to see this amazing band live and investigate them more. Wow!

Track Listing:-
1 Om Vajra Sattva Hung
2 Om Mani Peme Hung
3 Buddha Christ
4 Kundalini Eyes
5 Psycho Dead
6 When the Sun Comes up for the Last Time
7 Dead Comet
8 Get on the Train
9 Kingdom of God
10 Dead Mantra

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