The Dead Fronts – ‘Dangerous Impressions’

By Clara Cullen

Opening with a sluggish guitar melody and droned-down vocals, ‘Dangerous Impressions’ shares an immediate likeness with recent Arctic Monkey material – most noticeably the deliberately lifeless tracks on their third studio album ‘Humbug’.  Confusingly it is shortly after the moments that could simply be the aforementioned band rather than just hinting thereof where the sound explodes into something heavier. The vocals split to reveal a soprano generating images of Justin Hawkins if he lost all of his theatrical melodrama. All the while the dirtier vocals lead proceedings, supported by guitars associated with more straightforward rock and roll.

‘Killer Bee’ retains the unpredictability complete with split vocals in the verses that make way for a surprisingly eerie chorus, relying as much upon its drama as it does its composition. Both the lyrics and vocal delivery appear not entirely serious, yet rather than sounding contrived and shallow the music is engaging.

The pattern of combining down-tempo indie and unexpected moments of guitar riff driven choruses continues, eventually allowing for the vocals to reach screaming point in the equally ominous ‘Fake’. The EP’s closing number pulls together the various elements of the four tracks prior, culminating in a sensory switch in tempo, style and delivery. The final moments see the guitar pushed firmly into the forefront providing a suitably epic conclusion – even if this does remain understated at the same time.

‘Dangerous Impressions’ is undoubtedly an indie effort rather than harnessing the rawness or power of more underground variations of the alternative genre. Despite its mainstream appeal it sits somewhat askew to the wealth of contemporaries currently dominating radio space; instead taking the necessary elements to enforce a cleverly contradictory and downright eerie record. The theatrics do not dominate; instead sliding into a complex mixture of styles led by the straightforward guitar work and excellently crafted vocals. It may not be everyone’s taste but for those partial to an indie edge there is enough surprise and innovation to keep The Dead Fronts on the radar.


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