Album Review: Death Bells – ‘New Signs Of Life’: post-punk and emo-infused rock

THE NEW album from Australian duo Will Canning and Remy Veselis, aka Death Bells, is a fusion of post-punk and emo-infused rock.

The band has become a more concrete two-person pairing since its formation in 2015, culminating in the twosome making the bold move to up sticks from Sydney, Australia, and transfer 7000 miles to Los Angeles, California, in 2018.

The duo have blossomed since then with a debut EP appearing in 2019 along with a single, “Metropolitan Indian”. They’ve signed to Dais Records for their sophomore offering, New Signs Of Life.

Mixed and engineered by Colin Knight at Paradise Studios, there is a real sense of the band growing as people as well as a partnership. A tightness to the composition and sheen to the production has led to a sound not too dissimilar to Bastille while maintaining that alternative edge and not fully branching out into the mainstream.

Influences of Interpol, the National and Editors abound in the dispassionate vocal delivery, coupled with a definite new chapter in their existence which the title track heralds. Watch the video:

Full of optimism and embracing guitars, brass and percussion, it offers a change of pace.

“We started writing New Signs Of Life’in Calgary whilst on tour around this time last year.

“More than anything, the song is about resilience in the face of change. It’s a very deliberate statement and sets the tone for what’s to come musically from us,” the band explain.

The emo phasing and influence abounds with the inflection on the opening track, “Heavenly Bodies”, which is very much redolent of Interpol’s “Narc”.

“Two Thousand And Twenty”, a song about being burnt by the powers recalls those 80s’ guitar bands such as Echo & the Bunnymen or Psychedelic Furs – a real panache and flair is apparent in most of the album.

This flair will be familiar to listeners of Death Bells’ label mates Private World, whose 80s’ electronic album and the two albums together share that same DNA of new romantic influence and positivity amidst the darkness.

It’s an album of great potential and ambition from a pair to definitely keep an eye on; an album that in this most unusual of years, one of looking inward, fits neatly into the global mindset.

New Signs Of Life will be released by Dais Records on Friday, September 25th, and is available to order here.

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