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The Dead Blues Club – Vol. 1 | Trippy Indie

Kanazawa based guitarist and vocalist Richard Gray who fronts Leeds, UK band Devious Dogs releases a fascinating indie rock debut record with Vol. 1 as part of his solo project The Dead Blues Club. The Dead Blues Club has its genesis in the requirement of musical expression during testing times. Vol. 1 which runs for about 35 minutes is an exciting adventure that sculpts a musical work of art. The recording of the album was done in Japan and England. The Yorkshire artist dons several hats on this project performing almost all instruments and mixing the record.

The album begins with Bloody Ada with its machine synthesizer sounds and the drone then gives way to a simple electronic beat. We hear all sorts of sounds in the intro. The interesting sounds soon morph into a call and response interaction between the otherwordly machine robotic sounds. The relaxed vocals croon to the background of pleasing wind synth harmonies to a steady indie rock song. The second track Submarine kicks in with a pulsating beat and bass rhythm. The staccato lyrical flow in the pre-chorus gives way to some heavy with retro-sounding synth melodies.

Party Tricks has a guitar phrasing in the background to form an indie rock song with a catchy groove. The beat of this song will make you tap your foot. The outro of the song has some searing synth and guitar lines which creates an epic aura. A highlight of the record. FIRE commences on a syncopated beat and groovy bassline to go along with it. We hear some tasty and unconventional guitar work on this one. We get to hear several tempo changes on this one. We have an intriguing middle section with pop-jazz and a crazy bass line riff.

The Bridge starts with a smoky bass line which builds the mood. We then hear some laid-back blues guitar lines followed by piano phrases. This is an instrumental tact placed right in the middle of the album and another highlight of the album. With Cosmonaut we enter space rock territory. Effect-soaked guitar riffs and heavy drumming give us a rocking number you would be sure to enjoy. We get to hear some time signature changes and some spoken verse as well on this straightforward rock number.

Council Of Twelve begins with some harmonica-like sounding musical elements which form the main melodic motifs on this instrumental number. The organs and other retro rock sounds on this one make it a must-listen. The penultimate track Mirrors & Stairs has a music box in its intro which doesn’t take you by surprise as we’ve heard a variety of musical palettes on this record so far. This gives way to a bass line directly flowing into the aloof vocals and mesmerizing chiming harmonic comping. The album concludes with the instrumental You On The Run, with a hypnotic clean guitar riff and a reflective musical vibe to end this captivating musical journey.

The songwriting along with the expressive musicality gives sonic manifestation to Gray’s vision. Gray performs the electric organ, synthesizers, and keys, along with vocals, bass, drums, and guitar, perfecting all his roles properly. Drummer Kenny Thompson and Gray’s Devious Dogs bandmate Sam Bollands give their inputs to the album as well. The alluring vocals are on point in the album while the music is stunning. We get to hear some psychedelic influences on the album. Much like the album cover, the interaction of reverb harmonic elements works aptly. The Dead Blues Club’s Vol. 1 is a captivating indie rock journey that spins a riveting musical narrative and we can’t wait for Vol.2 already!

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Guitarist. I write on music and praxis.

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