This week’s album was an unusual one for sure. It is the second, self-titled, album by Dead Shed Jokers. It is to be released on Monday the 13th of April 2015 under the record label Pity My Brain Records. Their line up consists of Hywel Davies (vocals), Nicky Bryant (guitar), Kristian Evans (guitar), Luke Cook (bass) and Ashley Jones (drums).
At first the cover caught my eye, it literally looks like plans written on the wall of a shed. This was a clever idea to go with the name of the band and album. There are eight tracks in total, and a lot of their names also grabbed my attention. They all looked like they were going to be heavy before even listening to them… and that they were. The whole genre of the album was hard to grasp. It had influences from metal, rock, punk and sometimes even elements of blues and jazz could be heard. Maybe alternative rock would be a good way to put it? But I’m still not so sure.
The opening track was a great choice for an opener; it really set the bar for what was to come. It’s heavy, loud and angry, yet very melodic. It is titled Dafydd’s Song. It kicks off with heavy guitar, bass and drums, just beating out the rhythm and grasping all your attention. I felt that the vocalist’s voice suited this heavy music perfectly. He was well able to keep up with the volume and intensity of the other instruments. At about three minutes there is an awesome, quite bluesy guitar solo, which is followed by another at five minutes. Overall this track was a killer opener and really made me eager to hear the rest of the album.
Another track that really stood out to me was one named Memoirs of Mr. Bryant. The build up to this song was fantastic, beginning with just guitar and vocals as slowly more is added. A heavier guitar riff first, followed by drums and suddenly, boom, the song just hits you in the face. It’s a head banger for sure, with amazing rhythm throughout. It also has really nice, quiet, more melodic parts that make you lean closer and give it an intimate feel… but just to fool you so it can knock you back down once again. The vocals remind me of a song called My War by a band called Black Flag. They had the same desperation and emotion shown by that singer. The end of this song was the most unusual part for me. The music stops and the members of the band are just singing a melody “da da da da da da da” which is creepy and haunting, it’s almost like a haunted circus. There’s no doubt this is an awesome track.
The closing track Exit Stage Left (Applause) was a bit of a shock to me, because it was almost like a ballad. It is soft and relaxing compared to the rest of the album, it was a really great way to end such a great album. The guitar is playing a beautiful chord progression while the bass brings a nice foundation to the song. The vocalist also shows off his capability of singing intimately, which was great. Once the drums come in the songs builds to form a climax that sends chills down your spine. It was a great ending to this great album. But take my word for it, just when you think it’s over keep listening… that’s all I will say.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this album. I’m going to give it four and a half out of five. It intrigued, confused, entertained and inspired me. It was so heavy and full of attitude. It really brought back the whole idea of music being in your face. You don’t have to like it, you just have to listen to it, because this album kicks ass and forces you to like it. If you like any sort of music with an element of metal and rock to it, you’re definitely going to like this album. It’s edgy, full of attitude and in your face.