Song of the day: The Dead Girls – "Naysayer"

February 22, 2013

I received an email a couple weeks ago by a band called The Dead Girls (Hi, guys!) who wanted me to listen to their album, Fade In/Fade Out. (Sorry about the delay, guys!)

First of all, I’m going to try and make this post as short and to-the-point as I can.

Second of all, I’d like to say that I’m not keen on the band name.

To the album!

The Dead Girls – Fade In/Fade Out (2013)

1. “Never Erased

Before the band came in at 0:14 and did its Coldplay impression, the introduction reminded me of Hawaiian music. That’s a nice change from listening to the start of a song reminding you of standard rock music. As for the entire song, I don’t mind it. The singing’s fine, the vocal harmonies are fine, the Coldplay similarity is not fine (but that’s just me), the guitars are OK (maybe a bit weedy sounding), and as mentioned a sentence ago: I don’t mind it.

2. “Naysayer

The thing I liked most about this song is that it didn’t remind me of Coldplay. Thanks, chaps! But I could have done without the swearing at 0:14. What is it with bands and swearing? Is it an emphasis thing, where the singer is trying to stress a point they want to make? For me, it has the opposite effect because nowadays it’s used unsparingly. It just doesn’t have the shock value it used to. Hint to songwriters everywhere: try a thesaurus. Anyway, the more I listen to this song the more I like it.

3. “The Beast Inside

Yep, don’t mind this one either.

Oh-oh. Someone’s background vocal from 0:52-0:56 is flat. Oops. But from 0:56 onwards their voice is in tune. Phew.

I know it’s early in the album, but I’m starting to think that this band likes playing songs in a staccato manner. (Think “London Calling“.)

Back to “The Beast Inside”…

The main tune from 1:06-1:10 is a tune I’m sure I’ve heard before. The tune happened earlier, from 0:52-0:56 (where the dodgy background vocals were), but I’ve only just noticed its familiarity. Where have I heard it before? It’s going around and around in my head, but I can’t place it. Aargh! Anyway, the background vocals here (i.e., 1:06-1:10) are a little less dodgy than they were earlier (although there’s an iffy note sung by someone in the right channel at 1:46, and then another one by someone in the left channel at 1:59).

I thought the guitar solo was interesting. (It starts at 2:08) I don’t know why the band decided to become Judas Priest for the first half of the solo, then Thin Lizzy for the second half (from 2:29). I thought it was bizarre. And I liked it. Question for the band’s guitarists: At 2:29, when you started the Thin Lizzy half of the solo, dd you intentionally borrow the first few notes of this riff in Thin Lizzy’s “Chinatown”?

I liked the unexpected thing that occurred unexpectedly at 3:06.

4. “Find Your Way Back To Me (Oh My Soul)

The sounds at the start of this instantly reminded me of this part of Supertramp’s “Rudy”. Excellent. (I like being reminded of Supertramp.) If you’re interested in knowning what the sounds are, but don’t want to hear the song to find out, it’s a train.

When the singing started (at 0:23), I was surprised to hear the band turning into Crosby, Stills and Nash. (Maybe Young as well, but I’m not sure.)

At 1:26 the band cranked it up, alt.country style. Fair enough. I’m not a huge fan of flannel-shirted distortion, but whatever floats your boat…

By the way, the harmony vocals are much better on this track than in the previous ones.

The train came back at 5:11 while the band kept playing. I thought that was a nice alt.country way for the song to finish.

5. “Date With The Wall

I can’t think of much to say about this song, except that this time it was the lead singer’s turn to sing dodgily. (Try 0:25-0:37 where he can’t quite get most of the notes he’s aiming for.)

Oh, there’s one other thing…

Question for guitarist in the right channel at 0:54-0:55: Was that deliberate? It sounded to me like you were cheerfully playing along with the song in the studio/bedroom/bathroom with that digital delay setting you had, and for the next section of the song, where you had to change sounds, it seemed to me as if you panicked, and in a split-second you thought the following:

“Oh no, I can’t find the pedal I need to click on for that other sound! Where’s the pedal??? I can’t see it! Oh, there it is. That’s a relief. Oops. I think I messed up the transition to the other section because I was too busy looking for that other pedal. I hope no-one notices…”

Despite the possible guitarist-related shenanigans, I liked this song. (But I didn’t like the guitarist’s digital delay very much. It sounded like it was set to “U2”.)

6. “Girl In Fatigues”

I liked this. I liked the jangliness, and I liked the chord choices for the chorus (1:00-1:23). Yep. I liked it. And I reckon I’d like this a lot more with a bigger production. (I can imagine it sounding huge. I can imagine Sugarbomb doing wonders with it.)

Incidentally, the song’s title (“Girl In Fatigues”) reminded me of this.

7. “Under Siege

And we’re back in country territory, but this one is more country rock than alt.country. It’s more Poco than Wilco.

I liked “Under Siege”.

8. “Scare You

I thought this was OK, and it wasn’t doing much for me, but then it got interesting at 0:35. From then on it improved immeasurably, with neat little guitar lines and creative vocal harmonies.

9. “Sing It Soft

I don’t know what it is about an acoustic 12-string guitar that brings out the “hippy” in people, but this song, with its 12-string acoustic guitar, does exactly that.

If the singer sang what I think he sang at 2:25, then that’s probably the most pointless bit of swearing I’ve ever heard in a song.

10. “I Feel You

This one’s retains a bit of hippy-ness. (The opening line is “Hey dreamer girl…”)

“I Feel You” reminds me of Led Zeppelin, and for three reasons:

1. The opening acoustic guitar made me think of “Over The Hills And Far Away“; and
2. The drums have that John Bonham heaviness.
3. The electric guitars have “I’m sounding like Jimmy Page” written all over them.

I liked “I Feel You”.

11. “Wall Of Boxes”

This one starts with two guitars trading riffs, and then at 0:12 it launches into a rhythm that reminded me of this part of Rush’s “Xanadu” (but without the tricky time signatures).

Because this song reminded me of Rush, I liked it.

***

Overall, I’d say I didn’t mind Fade In/Fade Out. I won’t say I loved it (because if I did I’d be fibbing), but I did enjoy it while it was playing.

I think I’ll play it again.

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