The origins of Deathfix are pretty cool if you know your US punk, as they formed in 2009 after Brendan Canty (Fugazi) and Rich Morel (Morel, Blowoff) met while touring in Bob Mould’s band. This, their debut album reaches the public via Ian Mackay’s Dischord label.
The seven tracks on this eponymous release – recorded in Canty’s studio – have evolved over time, with the initial blueprints expanded upon with improvisation and depth being brought to the songs’ bare bones. It was a shared affinity for the sounds of 1972 - particularly glam and progressive rock – that brought the two together, and it’s clear that these influences have informed the compositions here, making for an album that’s poppy and accessible.
Opener ‘Better than Bad’ has a glammy guitar vibe and Glitter Band drum stomp, and it’s abundantly clear that this album harks back to the same era that spawned punk, but definitely isn’t a punk album. It is, however, a pretty good album, and eminently accessible. ‘Low Lying Dreams’ is altogether more ponderous and introvert.
There are some nice rolling drums and warm harmonies that wash over the reverby, crunch guitar sounds, while the 8-minute ‘Dali’s House’ is built around a nice, strolling bass groove and ‘Mind Control’ has an altogether proggier feel, with just a hint of The Stone Roses in the mix.
Because ‘Deathfix’ combines eclecticism and a degree of experimentalism with quality songwriting and musicianship, the result is an album that’s never dull and rewards serious exploration.