Drums of Death - Red Waves EP - (Civil Music, 05/12)
Incoming! Monster new business from Colin Bailey that's as wonderfully over-the-top as we'd expect. Fusing house, synthwave and unadulterated rave madness, it's a mad banger of an EP that's on par with his devastating 12" Steps Into The Ring for Greco Roman records and a cracking follow up to Black Waves back in July. Tear the Box Apart rips it up with epic synth lines and monster subs to create full metal jacking techno, whilst Venice Beach combines the same 808 booms into a hip-house inflected work-out. Relentlessly cheesy and unashamedly old-school, DOD manages to create crossover classics with a huge retro appeal. Refusing to rely on the nostalgia ticket, DOD fires up the 808 again for aptly titled The Jerk, but throws in a weird mix of breakbeat and UK funky to striking effect. Sadly, the more experimental moment falls a bit flat, and I can't say I was desperate to hear garage given a death-zombie reinterpretation, but it has it's own niche.
There's always been something of a disparity between the dancefloor productions of Colin Bailey and the Danse Macabre electro-pop that Drums of Death busts out live - the former is an introverted electronics geek, the latter a wild-eyed pop misfit in the Manson/ Danzig/ Gaga vein who exists to entertain. Whilst Bailey seems to be finding the confidence to leave behind his extra skin, Bang the Drum is the perfect fusion of the two; a jacking 808 beat leads into a duel between Bailey's vocodor-distorted vocals and a wirey, acid synth-line that ought to kill it live. It's a powerful cross-over tune that will appeal to a massive cross-section of clubbers, and we expect to hear this ending a lot of sets for the next few months. A solid and well worked ep.