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Year-End Roundup Music Review: Deadboy & The Elephantmen – We Are Night Sky

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As we gear up towards the end of the year, it's time to discuss the albums that we may have missed in months past. Some may be records we wish we could have kept avoiding; others we may wholeheartedly regret that we didn't catch on to earlier. Beginning our series is February's We Are Night Sky, from Deadboy & The Elephantmen.

Okay. STOP, STOP, STOP. Before we even talk about We Are Night Sky, let's put something on the books. Unless it's a two-person band where the man is singing like a high-pitched shrill woman from country music hell and the drummer is charmingly inept, it's no longer fair to compare every two-person band to the White Stripes. There are expectations involved which will be raised, heightened, and will finally ruin all attempts to fairly examine the album. So now that we have that clarification in place, we can proceed to talk about this record.

For the most part, Deadboy & The Elephantmen have put out a damn fine original album. The sound veers toward both jump-up-and-down rock and roll ("Stop, I'm Already Dead," "Misadventures of Dope," and – my personal favorite track – "Blood Music") and slow hybrids of folk and ballads ("Walking Stick", "No Rainbow"). The largest problem, though, is that singer/guitarist Dax Riggs rarely shuts up. Look Dax, rock and roll is not hearing a man try to take on Yoko Onoesque vocals. I mean, I love Yoko. Her Plastic Ono Band is honestly one of my favorite albums. But dude, your music just doesn't fit with the voice. This isn't what rock music is about! It's about, every once in a while, letting your drummer (Tessie Brunet) and your guitar show off how awesome they are. Honestly, all of these songs would be great if just once we could have a few minutes to enjoy the music both of you are playing. And I'm not asking for an instrumental, I'm just asking for you to rock. Or at least get some messier production. Guys, go hire Jim Diamond. If there's any group out there who needs his production, it's really you two.

Despite all of my complaints, however, do listen to Deadboy & The Elephantmen. It might not change your world – shit, it's only their first album – but the potential is definitely there.

by Megan Giddings

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  • Jerome M.

    “I mean, I love Yoko. Her Plastic Ono Band is honestly one of my favorite albums.”

    I hope that you are joking; if Plastic Ono really is your favorite record, you neglect to mention that this is a John Lennon record, not a Yoko record. In fact, Yoko sings about three bars on the whole record.

  • Imogene W.

    When I first read this review, I thought it was a joke, it seems very POV (Reviews are supposed to be a sort of analysis/opinion of the music, but still…). But anyways, to my point: This isn’t supposed to be a straight “rock & roll” album. It’s a swamp-rockesque type of thing, Dax’s voice fits perfectly with his music, I don’t know how I can stress that enough. Whenever I am describing this band to anyone, Dax’s voice and how much it fits with everything else is usually one of the first things I mention. I’ve read other reviews about this album, and Dax’s voice and their lack of “messier production” has never been an issue, Dax’s voice is usually praised. And you should listen to Nevermind the Scenery, Tessie is brillantly hypnotic.

  • Zach

    I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that John AND Yoko both released records called “Plastic Ono Band” in 1970. Both were recorded at the same sessions with the same musicians. See the product link for “Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band” above. And try not to be so condescending when you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • BubblesMcGoo

    Dax has the best singing voice on the planet. Dax shut up? How about hendrix stop playing guitar for 2-3 minutes of his songs….

  • DeatH

    that was the shittiest review ive ever read.

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