A horrible hack

Solway Fifth - Dead Sun Rising


Year Released: 2003
Format: CD
Label: Speedowax
Reviewed by Kunal Nandi on Jun 13, 2007
An album-length split here, featuring two very different Brummy (i.e. from Birmingham, UK) outfits, the link being that some incestuous member-sharing goes on behind the scenes. Behind the snazzy artwork - imagine some kind of printer test page with added emo pylons - lurk the tracks from two bands that rawk in very different ways, a fact highlighted by the decision to alternate between the two bands over the course of the CD.

Adding even more to the inter-band incestuousness, Dead Sun Rising also feature Mistress fellows, so that may give you some idea as to the extremity on show here. Converge are a definite touchstone here, but DSR really go off the rails at times, songs spinning out of control, veering madly into 6 minute territory. It's pretty damn scattered, absorbing and twisting a myriad of easily identifiable influences, spitting them out with brutal force and unpredictability. Cool! Rumours abound that these older recordings are already unrepresentative of what DSR are up to now, using keyboards and even sitting down at points during gigs as they do. It's hard to believe though, especially after the closing 5-second song (can't escape that other famous Brum band, Napalm Death's influence) kicks your face off.

Solway Fifth are yer meat-and-potatoes, instrumental noodly post-rocky band, without actually sounding standard in any way shape or form. Usually it's totally pleasant on the ears, even when they do a full-on wig-out, and they're unafraid to bring some light relief in the form of a snippet of a hummable melody, which is certainly refreshing. There are so many bands of this style, with entire labels devoted to it even, but not many outside of Chicago! I'm shit at comparisons, but I'm thinking of a bit of Hero Of A Hundred Fights, (the god-like) Faraquet, American Heritage (without the Norwegian black-metal), that kind of thing.

So, pretty damn good, with the fact that both bands are mates with each other and on a local label making this a little extra special in my book.

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