Posted on March 7, 2023 1 Comment
I can’t recall the last time I heard a new band that literally within the first 15 seconds of listening, they had me. That sort of immediate satisfaction is rare but it’s happened with the group Nuovo Testamento and their new album released on March 3rd, Lovelines.
Currently based in Los Angeles but featuring members hailing from the old country (Italy), the authenticity in their Italo Disco sound is remarkably apparent. It’s Italo Disco and 90s freestyle meets Depeche Mode with the sexiest vocals probably since E. G. Daily graced the soundtrack to 1987’s Summer School. Dive in.
All it took was that pulsating opening to ‘Heat’ and TNUC was already a disciple. The group are tapping into a sound that synth-pop desperately needed at the moment. It feels fresh and energized, with an attitude that echoes through the steamy streets of the city.
The following track and music video for ‘Heartbeats’ captures that energy so perfectly. Darkness of the city, golden hour skylines, trench coats and neon marquees. Singer Chelsea Crowley’s vocals also remind me a bit of German-pop icon Sandra, but completely unique and bewitching in her own right.
Uncle T can’t continue without at least once movie reference. So if I had to fantasize about a movie scene with this song, it would be Kim Richard’s bedroom in 1985’s Tuff Turf. She’s got the rock and pop posters adorning her walls, a fashion style that equally matches her attitude and most importantly, a bedroom window perfect for dudes climbing in or stumbling out.
The remainder of this album is just as great and never slows down. At a track length of just 8 songs, there is absolutely no time for interlude nonsense or filler on Lovelines. I can’t explain how refreshing this album is to hear amongst a sea of synth-pop material that for the most part is a bit forgotten about after a couple listens. It takes a new level of songwriting and authenticity to reach a plateau of greatness that stands above the rest and I can feel the power with Nuovo Testamento.
D E A D S Y.
Posted on January 11, 2023 2 Comments
Of all the bands that I’ve come to love and enjoy, DEADSY are the most endlessly fascinating. The more you dig into this band and explore the music and mythos, the deeper into the abyss you will drift. I could literally write a 10-page midterm paper about Deadsy. There is that much to dissect. For roughly the last twenty years, my closest friends and I have spent — and will continue to spend late evenings drinking beers and talking about Deadsy while the sounds of a snarling Les Paul and Z-Tar echo through the air. “Wait…what?”
Right about now I’m sure people reading this are thinking, “that band from the Korn days? The Key to Gramercy Park? The Orgy sounding dude?”
Which is why I’ve had my trepidations with writing about Deadsy because I honestly don’t know where to begin. For one, they couldn’t be any more different than the aforementioned bands. Deadsy’s music is heavy, lush, otherworldly, melodic, shrouded in mystery and exists on its own plane. This band has always felt like a best kept secret between my friends and I. Like a secret society of like-minded amigos who have the greatest taste in music and Deadsy being this sacred thing that nobody else understands but us. #UNDERCORE
I discovered the band back in high school, when the majority of our free time was spent driving around, listening to music and smoking weed. Our music consumption during a single car ride would flow from CSNY’s Deja Vu into Slayer’s Reign In Blood…..then Dr. Dre’s The Chronic into Rush’s 2112. This explains why we as kids, didn’t fit into any single category at school. Jocks, preps, bookworms, stoners, freaks……nobody. We were a little bit of everything. Deadsy is a little bit of everything. BUT FROM BEYOND.
I loathed the first half of my high school years from being pulled away from my friends to attend private school. The songs on Deadsy’s debut album Commencement put interesting thoughts into my head about academia and I began to see a new but adjacent, universal perspective on the whole “institutional” aspect of school. Songs like ‘Mansion World’, ‘Future Years’, ‘Winners’ and ‘Lake Waramaug’ put fantastical ideas in my head and were a much needed distraction from the daily mundane. It wasn’t the cliché middle finger to school, rather a way to rise above it and form your own little paradise. Once I even stopped my school’s Catholic priest in the hallway to ask if he knew about the Urantia Book. He looked at me like I had three heads.
Leading up to graduation, I was visiting different colleges throughout the New England area. My boredom during those long rides with my parents to New Hampshire and Vermont would subside when daydreaming and putting the Deadsy lens on the whole experience. One of the great things about music is the feeling of being transported to another place or time. This was certainly the case with this band but elevated and it had a different energy.
Maybe it attributed to being around college campuses in New England and the connection with Deadsy’s prep school vibe, but something about the depth and mystery within these songs was tapping hard into my imagination. It didn’t so much as transport me to another place as it opened my eyes and kept me in the ever-present. If that makes any sense.
As I mentioned, the members of Deadsy had an evil prep school vibe during that era that I found endlessly fascinating. This, coupled with the music, provided hours of staring at album artwork, dissecting lyrics and noticing little new things in the songs each time you listen. They operated like a modern day KISS in terms of each band member having a different character with a symbol. Academics. Leisure. War. Science and Horror.
Their frontman, P Exeter Blue (Elijah Blue Allman) seemed to have landed from another decade or I should say, mid-space time dilation. If I had to explain his vocal style, think somewhere between David Bowie and Peter Steele.
The band arrived on the scene during the nu-metal days of the early 00’s. To be honest back then I didn’t know what to think, as this was a radically new sound to most people including myself. It was a little depressing and “electronic” for my ears at that time. You have to keep this all in perspective and context…Deadsy entered the picture when Korn, Linkin Park, Tool, System of a Down and Limp Bizkit dominated rock radio and the mainstream. While several of those bands supported Deadsy and brought them out on the road as a support act, they certainly didn’t fit in.
I think for the masses, hearing synthesizers mixed with Type O Negative vocals and sludgy riffs went right over people’s heads. It was so outside what was happening at that time with rock music. Everything they did seemed against the grain. A keyboard player in a band? Completely unheard of during those days (unlike how it is now.)
Deadsy looked like prep-school misfits in technicolor from another dimension. Five guys who just walked off the set of Tron and could play Duran Duran melodies over slowed down Morbid Angel riffs. Again, I didn’t know what to think when I first heard it. But the strangest thing was that I kept coming back. I had never experienced this sort of slow-burn effect with music before, as it had always been hit or miss for me.
As I kept giving this strange band another listen, there was something familiar and nostalgic about it. They seemed to be channeling Black Sabbath, Depeche Mode and elements of prog rock, but pushing it into the neon-soaked stratosphere.
I’ll never forget hearing the opening to ‘Winners’ and the chills that ensued. Keep in mind, this is over a decade before synthwave or any sort of synth-based music would be a thing. That wash of sound floored me and still does to this day.
Deadsy released two full length albums during their tenure, Commencement in 2002 and Phantasmagore in 2006. In the interest of not making this article 42 pages I’m going to skip over dissecting those brilliant albums (save it for another time). Instead let’s leap forward…
If there is one downfall with Deadsy, it is that they are not prolific. It’s frustrating to have a band you love so much have such a limited body of music over 20+ years. Granted, the band did take a pretty big hiatus until a few years ago but the bottom line is — fans have been promised a lot over the years and very little has panned out.
…Enough whining! The good news to announce is that Deadsy have been in the studio and creating NEW MUSIC. A third album is on the way (fingers crossed in 2023) and that is all we really care about!
Now disciples, let your Uncle TNUC be your guide. Strap on a pair of headphones and give this band your full attention. They are unlike anything you’ll ever hear.