This EP came out months ago but I only recently got wind of it. Regular readers will know how much I love a female vocalist and The Dead Good has one in the very talented Isabella Knight. Joined by musician Sonny Lanegan, this German-Italian combination who are based in LA, provide us with some serious retro alternative rock seasoned with a sprinkle of electronica.
Having only been together less than year, their debut EP has received some really positive reviews with comments such as “Isabella Knight’s contributions to the words and music in tandem with Sonny Lanegan’s skill for creating memorable compositions make this EP a must have”. As a band who are still finding their feet, Thirteen Polaroids is a very well put-together record.
Beginning with Junk Nation, it gets off to a glitchy start. The growling classic rock guitar soon kicks in and Sonny’s snarling glam-rock vocal meets Isabella’s bewitching licks. The result is a dark, unpolished, growling monster which has a tinge of the 70s to it. The blinking electronics in the background keep it up-to-date, stopping it from getting lost in a time warp.
Up next is Saw, Drills and Glue Guns where their fierce alternative side is slammed out right from the start. The instruments continue the metal theme while the vocals adopt a punk style. It’s angry and anarchic with an eerie, witchy vocal breakdown just before the end which really captures your senses.
A more chilled approach is taken on Room 106 with its smooth gentle guitar and funky off beat electronic. Both voices simultaneously produce a calm, swaying vocal and it takes on an air of Alanis Morissette. It’s much lighter and more pop-based than the other songs on the EP and offers a serene break from the frantic rock that is the bulk of the record.
Crush has a definite bluesy funk to it and its steady beat and dark rhythm are joined by a creeping vocal. It’s unpolished with fuzzy bits around the edges from the guitars. It’s a dreamy melody with a tricksy mechanical guitar solo just before the end with a screaming, dramatic female vocal.
Following it comes I Put A Spell On You, which isn’t a Nina Simone cover. However, there are remnants in it with the line “I put a spell on you cause you’re mine”. There is a slow, sensual pounding guitar which revs along to the witchy female vocal. Spiralling riffs and a bit more grit make it quite a theatrical song with the squeals from the vocal and the constantly revving guitar.
Ending on Through My Bones, electronica meets alternative rock again. The electronic thumping stamps through the intro and a growling guitar quickly meets it before the fast vocals, which had an air of a hip hop rhythm to them, take over. Punchy harmonies frame a ringing riff and a steady drum while resonating electronic vocals zap it out.
It’s a great first record and depicts the talented duo perfectly. They’re young, fresh and full of passionate, gritty rock. Their quirky use of electronics saves them from being a throwback rock band and instead into an outfit who have huge amounts of potential.