Dead Coast – Shambolic (Annibale Records)


Cover by James Burgess

Artist: Dead Coast (UK)

Album: Shambolic

Label: Annibale Records

Released:  5th February 2016

All great albums should take you somewhere that a person physically can’t. It should do something to every part you; it should make something in your brain click and should hit you in the gut. You’ll find it in your favourite band, but there are times when you have to stop listening to your favourite band and delve into something new.

Dead Coast is about to release their debut record, Shambolic, on 5th February 2016. If the Beach Boys were new now, they’d probably sound like this band. Dead Coast has a brilliant surfer feel to its music and it is beautifully obvious on the debut record. Writing about a band’s first record can be quite tricky because you don’t have comparisons to the band’s former albums to establish what it has done and where it is going. I have no idea where Dead Coast is going but it sure as hell does take you on one spectacular ride with Shambolic.

What I sincerely love about the record is that I don’t feel like I’m listening to a band in 2016. As someone who has a weakness for music that is older than my 29 years, Dead Coast is the ideal band. It sounds like a slightly tamer version of my beloved The Gruesomes and equally as wild as Count Five, two bands that my record collection would be nothing without. Dead Coast has some relaxing moments on the record. “Bossa For Stanley” is the perfect break on the record to step into the second half. I don’t mind listening to records in a jumbled fashion. I tend to listen to it in order then go back and press the random button; however, with Shambolic, I don’t feel like I could listen to it other than in order of the track listing. Every song goes carefully into the next one; it works so magically I daren’t mess with that.

The first part of the record feels like a Garage Rock wonderland and the second parts flows like a Psychedelic trip– two different worlds coming together on one record to create one of the best debut records to come out this year. Sure it is still only January, but you just know when you listen to something that it is going to be nothing short of great.

With a lot of bands that have this kind of sound, as clichéd as it seems, they usually do make you feel as if you’re on the beach in California on a hot day in July. Dead Coast doesn’t give off that feeling. You could head to Brighton right now in sub-zero temperatures and listen to Dead Coast and it would still feel right. You can listen to Shambolic anywhere, any time, any season and it will feel right. It is a band that you can’t lump under an influence, and that is part of their charm. Personally, I don’t feel like I’m listening to a band from London in 2016 and I hope whoever listens to this record get that too. Maybe this album holds the key to creating something timeless and memorable. You can hear the hard work and passion that has gone into this record. Shambolic is wonderfully produced without it sounding too precious.

At the moment, I’ll probably call “Our Sorrow” as my favourite because it reminds me slightly of The Pretty Things. It is a delicate song, and the gentle vocals soothe the soul. This record has a lot of soul, and even in its louder moments it still does have a tranquil feel to it. Sorry to throw in a clichéd remark, but this record is an ethereal gem. It’s one you’ll throw on when you just want something nothing else is giving you– it fills the void in the most peaceful way imaginable. I’m not someone who seeks to find fault in anything or anyone. I think anybody would be hard pressed to find anything wrong with this record. The more you listen to Shambolic, the more crazy images it conjures in your mind. I’m noticing now that “Some Sinking Notes,” a purely instrumental moment on the record, feels quite sinister. It then launches into “Because I Know You,” and it works so well. Sure the former song feels quite sinister, but “Because I Know You” feels like the aftermath in a film where something terrible has happened and the person responsible for it has gotten away. Maybe my imagination is too much, but it’s pretty hard to listen to Dead Coast and not let your mind wander.

Sure there are going to be some magnificent releases this year, but keep a little room in your heart and head for Shambolic by Dead Coast and let them take you far, far away.

By Olivia Cellamare