Who amongst us hasn’t pondered how good Joy Division might’ve been had they been recorded by Spot (NOT SPOT LONG OF TRAILER SPACE, ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?) instead of Martin Hannett? Don’t all raise your hands at once.
OK, maybe I’m the only one that’s woken up in the middle of the night grappling with that particular “what if?” But I’ll bet I’m not not nearly the only person that’s about to be poleaxed by The Dead Space’s long-awaited debut album, ‘Faker’ (12XU 063-1). The trio of bassist/vocalist Quin Galavis, guitarist Garrett Hadden and drummer Jenny Arthur have been honing their craft in Austin, TX since high school, but after a 7” on Hadden’s excellent Thread Pull label (Flesh Lights, Foreign Mothers), a song on the second ‘Casual Victim Pile’ comp. (12XU, 2012) the moment is long overdue for The Dead Space to put-it-all-together. And that’s exactly what they’ve done —this is a band whose blend of tension, fragility and genuine muscle —certainly in the spirit of avowed influences like Joy Division, Bauhaus and Swans without being remotely copyist ——has never been nearly this confident or incandescent.
(photo : Eric Karjala)
We’re a couple of years past The Dead Space making the good-to-great leap ; at present, they’re in the middle of that awkward period I like to call the “How Have You Assholes Slept On This Amazing Band?” Stage. And while the recent notoriety of their other projects might elevate The Dead Space’s profile a tad (ie. Galavis’ beautiful solo works or the heavier jams laid down with Nazi Gold, Hadden’s recent participation in Ghetto Ghouls), ‘Faker’’ Is The Real Deal. Like Evander Holyfield. Don’t be a fucking Charley Steiner. Preorder here.
Would it be fair to say Austin’s These Are Words decided to lay down a gauntlet of one sort or another when they changed their name to the decidedly more malevolent GHETTO GHOULS —- culled from the old lady-stomping street gang in “The Exterminator” (1980, dir – James Glickenhaus). Actually, it would be a colossal reach, the sort persons like yourself make on a daily basis, I reckon.
Fresh off a widely acclaimed debut LP for Austin’s Monofonus Press, Ghetto Ghouls have been likened to such regional predecessors as Bobby Soxx or The Dicks, but there’s echoes of X-Blank-X or ‘Live At The Witch Trails’-era Fall in their staggery swagger (especially if you play an old Fall record at the bottom of a well while listening to Ghetto Ghouls up above). In a town where the best gigs often straddle the line between parties and disasters, a ridiculously high percentage of those shows seem to occur with this quartet right in the middle of the action.
This 7” couples a pair of songs from the S/T LP sessions that either represent 12XU getting the cream of the crop or the goddamn leftovers. Think very carefully before you decide which of those two scenarios is most likely, because I’ve got a looooooong fucking memory.
RIYL : getting beer spilled on you, people not apologizing for spilling beer. Preorder here.