The West Midlands has been a hotbed of heavy rock for many a year, being the home of Priest, Zep, Sabbath, Hughes, Diamond Head and many others. Now there is a new, as yet unsigned band, bringing their brand of rock out of Walsall and into your ears.
The band is called Dead Agents and appears to be the brainchild of noteworthy producer Adam Beddow who has been at the helm for bands such as Diamond Head and The Bad Flowers. He is behind the production on the Dead Agents new EP called, with alarming originality, The Dead Agents EP.
They class themselves as ‘Alternative’; which I suppose I can’t argue with, because when I listen to this EP, I think the sound they generate is as if Krokus and The Clash had a baby and the resulting offspring went to school with Adam Ant, The Edge and most of Muse!
First track and lead single, I Belong, is a good introduction to this promising band as all members show their abilities to great effect. It has a heavy riff underlying an otherwise pop-like structure. It is certainly catchy with its sing-a-long chorus and has an inventive guitar solo to strengthen it. Haters is next with a great heavy riff introduction of Sabbath weight, but then over a rolling drum beat, the song becomes an uncomfortable blend of styles that don’t quite gel. Drowning has a similar problem, even after the Silver Machine sound effects, although the Foos would probably love it. It does have a nice solo in the middle. Be My Gog is, by a mile, the best of the bunch. After an interesting opening, it eventually bursts into a really strong riff, which I cannot quite place other than a distinct Alice Cooper (Raise Your Fist era) tinge. Regardless, this is where the band should look for their next release as it will definitely showcase the bands’ tightness and songwriting abilities. (Gog, by the way, is usually a reference to one of the two warring factions known as Gog and Magog; alternatively, it may not!) Don’t Talk to Me wraps up this EP with another slow intro utilizing ‘strings’ this time. They are also blended in throughout the track, which lends it a certain amount of gravitas, but the main riff is a strong one, although it hasn’t got the feel and depth of the previous track.
Overall then, this is a mixed bag which shows great promise but, in my opinion, they should they hone their compositions into a more individual sound relying on their own undoubted skills. The evidence here runs the risk of being lost in the morass that seems to throw up dozens of Muse-alikes whereas Dead Agents could certainly stand out and gain the recognition they deserve. Already they will appeal to fans of ‘modern’ rock and would probably align themselves with the Peppers, the Foos and Muse et al; now if they could achieve a more unique approach, I will definitely give them a listen.
SIXdoodle paws out of TEN …
- I Belong
- Be My Gog
- Don’t Talk To Me
David James Foster – Lead vocals/rhythm guitar
Adam Beddow – Lead guitar/backing vocals (Producer)
Adam Furmage – Bass/backing vocals
Geoff Fry – Drums
Produced by Adam Beddow at Vigo Studios in the West Midlands (UK).