London based five piece The Confederate Dead are a reverb drenched offering that bring forward songs of colour and death. They have a high output rate, releasing five LPs since 2012, and their latest offering Infinite Expansion makes it six. They have influences ranging from sixties psychedelia to Islamic prayer and back to neo/psych drone and you can hear hints of their eclectic influences such as Galaxie 500, The Asteroid No.4 and Joy Division.
Opening with ‘In My Electric Eye’ they waste no time in asserting their intent for the record, with hazy vocals that make you sit up and listen closer and an infectious guitar riff that hooks instantly, this will appeal to anyone with any kind of psychedelic inclinations. ‘Acid Tongue’ is a bit more removed, with a slower tempo and more distinct sounds, it leans more towards The Doors side of things and ‘I Feel It (Do You Feel It Too?)’ follows on perfectly, creating dreamy soundscapes that invoke the peak of the Haight-Ashbury era. ‘You’re A Liar’ in comparison has a rougher edge and speaks more from the acid rock side of the genre. A haunting guitar comes into play and alongside the staccato accompaniment, they make a heady concoction. ‘Painting Flowers in the Sun’ is shoegaze at its heart, and once again takes the listener on a journey to lazy summer afternoons and is perfectly named in that regard.
‘I Wrote This Song For You’ is a short track which leads into ‘Interlude’ and the two taken together offer something quite special, especially the instrumental which could be consideration an whistlestop tour of The Confederate Dead’s sound in one neat 4:30 minute package. ‘I Pretend in Tears of Colour’ veers into post-punk territory and though much simpler in terms of instrumentation and makeup, the fact that something like this can be produced is testament to the quality of musician present. ‘Say Yes’ and ‘Fell in a Bad Dream’ fall to the sound that become most associated with them, the BJM essence mutated into something of their own.
Infinite Expansion is aptly named, as the music it covers is far reaching. Anyone with any interest in psychedelia should listen to this LP, the way the genre is traversed could be messy, but The Confederate Dead do it with mastery.
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