I discovered Death In Vegas through a track on a compilation CD that came with Vox magazine a fair while ago now and they are definitely a regular part of my sonic diet. They hit me as a good idea to put on when I am in that kind of mood that calls for Chemical Brothers or maybe Scott 4. Spiritually I think they plough a similar furrow. There is also a kinship with Primal Scream whose singer Bobby Gillespie appeared on The Contino Sessions.
Both Dead Elvis
and Contino Sessions
are the kind of albums that I find I can listen to on an almost constant loop — not that I do of course. They have enough ideas and a wide enough sonic pallete that they remain a novel and interesting experience through repeated listens and both of them are distinct enough that they don’t disappear into that soupy morass that can spring up around a supposed scene. Not that they were ever strictly part of a scee but they were occasionally loosely corralled with the other big beat bands who straddled the divide between dance and rock music. Contino Sessions
was the last album where this truly worked for them — Scorpio Rising
sounding like a compilation album with the tracks where Paul Weller and one of the Gallagher brothers guested being so stodgy it was like swallowing a bucket of puke mixed with sawdust.
was a step away from the so-called trademarks of their sound but it was a recapturing of their spirit. It was markedly more electronic than its predecessors and much fresher in ideas and sound than Scorpio Rising
. The first two albums remain the embodiment of what I think most people would agree on as the essence of Death In Vegas, Satan’s Circus
representing a welcome step onwards and The Contino Sessions
being the high watermark thus far.
It’s head music, it’s soul music — it’s more than a flash in the pan. Check it out.