It’ll say a lot about how long Dead Mellotron have been on my radar when I say I first came across em on MySpace. It sticks in the memory because they felt like one of the only bands I ever discovered through it – most of it was just rubbish as we all know. But over the course of a couple of free EPs they experimented with various sounds and ideas and approaches. It was always vaguely around an updated My Bloody Valentine esqe thing – closer to the dreamier end of that spectrum, mixed with some interesting beat ideas, whether electronic or kit work.
It’d be fair to say that isn’t a million miles from where we are here, just a hell of a lot more honed and carefully constructed.
For a start we have the mandatory nothing songtitles like Can’t See and Bye but that aside this EP / mini album mixes the classic shoegaze / post rock moves with something a little different, something unseen and hidden in shadow, whilst simultaneously managing to work in some pop grooves too.
The seven tracks all lead into one another forming a large, beautiful, self referencing whole. We have ghostly, indistinct and dreamy vocals, cuts of backwards guitar, euphoric highs and subtle Wurlitzer type lines underneath the whole racket. Somehow, despite hitting every MBV type touchstone, it manages to maintain a character all of its own, a void to get lost in. It’s a trick that was honed over their experimental self releases but arrives perfectly formed for this, their first release proper.
It’s only weaknesses lie in personal taste really. Songs are hard to distinguish from one another because of the structure of the album. I love that personally. There are plenty of little touches that get lost in the first few listens, partly because they sit in the middle of ‘songs’ that already don’t have a start and end. It won’t work so well on yr iPod basically. Personally, I’d rather bang on a whole album at a time anyway.
The record really comes into it’s own over the last few songs, building layers of skyraising epicness, shifting em away, then coming back twice as strong. It’s a work of great detail and very much worth searching out. Don’t be put off by the old MBV comparison; its something I know gets thrown about too much and most who try ape them fail miserably. This is actually rather excellent.