Victoria’s The Quick & The Dead debut album comes out today and the band were kind enough to send us an early copy of it. The album opens with a weepy guitar instrumental and a Clint Eastwood sound-alike introducing the band, but quickly takes off after that. Chapter I is a really catchy guitar and bass driven track whose riffs will stay in your head for a while, the song is a catchy one and it probably should be a single somewhere down the line.
The album takes a more traditional twist after that, with Gone and Fighter following a more traditional tack, with the occasional bass section and chunky riff bringing the songs to life in unexpected places and ways. The Blacksmith is familiar to us already, as one of the lead singles from the album it is like finding a good friend in the middle of a party – it adds to the experience and brings the excitement levels up to 10. The song itself is a cracker and if you wanted to get the chorus from Chapter I out of your head, The Blacksmith will happily replace it.
Saint tones it down a notch, with a slower, drum-driven track. The chunky riffs that infected the first part are missing – instead you find yourself being greeted with soft vocals and a chorus that comes out of nowhere to which you’ll find your head nodding to before rocking it side to side throughout the verses. Chapter II is a more folky affair which ties in nicely to the end of Saint, but delivers a twist of its own once the bridge kicks in.
The riffs return loud and proud with Stone Cold Bones which seem to be the way that The Quick & the Dead like to play it – you can imagine that they had a lot of fun writing the drum and bassline to this one. It is followed up quickly by Look Alive whose intro and “whoa” in the early parts of the track could be the start of a summer drinks commercial or a funpark. Riddle is another fun track, riff-driven and supported again by a wicked bassline and rhythm section. This is also the song where MC River jumps in and drops an unexpected verse before the chorus launches in. River clearly launched into it with a full understanding of the track as his piece doesn’t seem out of place unlike other MC features on rock tracks.The mixing of his vocals is akin to the vocal mixing on most other hip-hop tracks, which show the care that The Quick & the Dead take with their tracks, as many bands make the mistake of mixing hip-hop vocals as rock vocals. This hasn’t happened and the track works to an amazing effect as a result.
Thin Places takes it down a notch again, lulling the listener into a false sense of security, as the guitar comes back in Way Out West before finishing off with Chapter III and Chapter IV. The final two “chapters” truly are something special and bring the album to a very appropriate ending. This is where The Quick & the Dead bring together almost every musical element that we heard in the preceding tracks. The only thing missing is another feature from River. Chapter III‘s imagery of a wild west showdown only adds to the vibe of the ending of the album, with Chapter IV winding out the adventure.
Lyrically, you can expect of wild west imagery throughout. This isn’t out of place given the sound of the album. This is Maylene & the Sons of Disaster with clean vocals and without the hardcore influences. What The Quick & the Dead deliver with their self-titled album is a 14 track journey into a beautifully crafted landscape. The music serves as the scenery, smells and emotions where the lyrics craft the characters, people, and glances from passers-by as you step through town and through the doors of the saloon. If you are craving new, original and unique music, this is a must-own.
The Quick & the Dead – self-titled
Independent – available now on iTunes