Dead In The Woods / Diet Pills – Split 12″ 2010

Dead In The Woods/Diet Pills - Split 12" 2010They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Whilst the chest is the more geographically correct in the biological sense, for me a nice piece of vinyl and I’m instantly in love. In this case a limited edition translucent blue with accompanying well presented artwork and I have to take my hat off before even hitting play.

In the age of disposable digital internet theft a release that ups the ante with such though, deserves more attention than the precursory spin on Myspace. Released in the states on the very cool Black Box records this revamped split appeared in 2009 on tape and is the second split 12 inch in their series that seeks to spread the word of two punishing bands further.

First up on this split is Nottingham’s Dead In The Woods who wear their influences on their sleeves, citing Buzzoven, Eyehategod, Neurosis and Kiss It Goodbye as musical touch stones for the focused angry blasts of epic ‘doom-core’ featured.

‘Dies Irae’, named after the 13th Century Latin Hymnn written by Thomas of Celand and removed from the Roman Catholic mass in the liturgical reforms of 1969/70 describes the Day of Judgment in clipped, savage riffing and guttural vocals, delivering the listener a swift kick to the cloisters. Leeches, Ticks & Mites is a more tempered and brooding after, switching the content to the modern financial carnage wrecked by fat cat bankers that allows vocalist Jérémie to stretch his range over a pounding, hypnotic maelstrom.

Rounding off with Moloch Rises Again, a feral punk like attack on Britain’s ‘meedja’ culture of hyping the yoof of today’s decline, the track lurches from a snarl of insanity to measured, calm and considered musicianship that showcases the abilities of the band – recalling some of Johnny Truants final and finest moments. Dripping with sneering discontent these three tracks are taut and muscular and honed to perfection.

By contrast Diet Pills crash in with the unhinged attitude of the Jesus Lizard shadow boxing on your local night club dance floor, jacked up, strung out and not giving a fuck.

‘The Mouth Of Love’ fits and starts like a bad come down freak out of old school punk meets New Wave. Impossible to predict or nail down as it flails from posturing, self assured swagger to paranoid, screaming, strangled delusion. A huge riff is never far away, distorted and crunching but like trying to nail jelly to a wall as soon as you think you can relax they throw you a curve ball and take the song off in another direction.

‘We’ve Had The Same Dream’ (an ironic title if ever there was one) is by contract, a Lynchian love song – crooning and extolling virtues in one breath, bug eyed and raging the next. Make no mistake you and all your friends would have to be doing the wrong kind of drugs to put this on at a party for everyone to get this and the chances are not all would be alive in the morning, but Diet Pills don’t care. You are either with them or you are wasting oxygen and a space on the dance floor.

Uncompromising and unsettling, but interesting and worth a listen. Both bands share a common belief in their vision of the world – it ain’t pretty, but the vinyl is comes on is.

Label: Black Box Recordings
Dead In The Woods:
Diet Pills:

Scribed by: Mark Hunt-Bryden