Review: Deathretro – Deathretro (2021)


Deathretro is a new project from part of Hello Cosmos which includes Kieran Harris (vocals & synths), Adrian Ingham (guitar & synths), Ben Robinson (bass & vocals) and Phil Littlefair (drums). ‘Deathretro’ is also the name of their self-titled debut album which is released this month.

The album opens with `Black Lights` which  began with what almost sounded like a snippet from Siouxsie and the Banshees `Happy House` before grinding crunching guitar riffs join along with vocals that seem almost detached. At times it had a kind of swagger somewhere between Franz Ferdinand and Gang of Four. The driving drum beat with hi-hat cymbal tops felt joyful to me. There was an almost edgy nervous apprehensive anxiety about `Waveshifter` with its repetitive drum heartbeat which sprinted along and had some complementary vocal accompaniment at times throughout.

`Edge of Nothing` is a kind of electro-rock outing with a rhythmic drumbeat and at times what sounds like cowbells. The vocals are delightfully angst ridden and lie uneasily atop the musical backdrop. Although the lyrics were almost whispered and nigh on spoken at times, it felt as if there was a desire to share and sprint through them before something upspoken and appalling happened. We have a sort of strut to `Six Days` which had a really enjoyable post-punk electro bluster about it.

`Cycles (Part 1)` and `Cycles (Part 2)` are brief musical soundscapes. The former quite deep and dark and the latter a tad more expansive.  

`Electric Rooms` had a more abstract feel with lyrics shared initially in a spoken word format which became quite probing or questioning as the number evolved and progressed. The title of `Sound Of Silence` is so far from the truth. It`s a pounding thumping hypnotic intense offering propelled by a pulsing drumbeat, bassline, and distant unconcerned lyrical endowments      

`Blind Panic` has a kind of casual informality in it`s delivery. A number that has a guitar riff that ascends and descends as the track develops and the vocals seem almost shared through a megaphone or some other voice codec or other distorter. The album closes out with `Pistols` which seems to be quite trance like. The beating drum, synth waves and erratically communicated lyrics combine to give it a fairly mesmerising appeal. There was almost a face off between drum, synths, and bass towards the end of this submission.

I have to say I thought this album was a cracker and at around the half hour mark something that you can dip in and out of, time and time again as the mood takes you. A release that you can just put on and let it wash in, over and around you. A quite eclectic mix but all the better for it. I look forward to seeing how this band progresses.

Rating 9/10  

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