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8 out of 10
No Rest for the Wicked is the debut effort from Welsh rockers Death Quit Dancing, the latest in a seemingly endless production line of talent from our western neighbours. The album seems to take its influences from bands such as Enter Shikari in its highly liberal use of synthesizer and samples. Unlike the aforementioned band though, this is a lot less crap and for the most part, a decent effort first up.
Kudos has to go for the band for kicking off the album with a line from 'Face/Off', and while I will avoid the fool in me who wants to make a pun on them "rocking your face/off", I will say, that the album gets off to a blistering start. After the initial synth-y burst has died down, Dress like Halloween morphs into a pretty powerful rock song - one that changes direction more times than someone trying to get to grips with their new SatNav. I've Just Gone From 6 to 12 keeps up the good work with a more straight-forward rock song with the synths taking more of a back seat although an obligatory break-down is thrown in for good measure.
Perhaps the stand-out feature that will be noticed straight-away is the performance of singer Nick Lane. This is someone who has some serious pipes and can span a pretty impressive range. It would be impossible to listen to this mini-album and not be reminded of Daryl Palumbo, and this is supposed to be a huge compliment. Death Quit Dancing have their Glassjaw-y moments, but also combine it with the knowledge that every song needs its hooks. They seem to occupy a half-way house between Glassjaw and Head Automatica, combining the pop-sensibilities of the latter with the brute force of the former. It's a potent mix and one that works very well.
Death Quit Dancing come very close to ticking all the boxes, but there are some negatives to this mini-album as well. The big breakdowns get tiresome when it is patently clear that this band can do a lot better than an already tired musical device, and while 13 year olds in mosh-pits may love it, it personally leaves me a bit frustrated. Case in point is the otherwise excellent Swings and Roundabouts, that follows up a breakdown with a fantastic outro vaguely reminiscent of fellow Welsh rockers Funeral for a Friend, and it is these mature touches that give me hope that Death Quit Dancing are going to build on their obvious talents.
Special mention must go to the superb 5:1 Albatross, this song more than any showcases the band at their best. Lane's vocals absolutely soar and the structure of the song stops and starts, shifts direction and generally leaves you wanting it to keep going, culminating in a string backed last minute that is as good as anything I have heard for a long while. It is perhaps this formula that could propel the band to huge heights more than the slightly tired, synth-y hardcore mix that occasionally pops up. But I will put that down to youthful exuberance, because I really like this band, and they have the potential to not just be successful in a current genre, but carve a niche out of their own. I for one hope they do.
1. Dress Like Halloween
2. I’ve Just Gone From 6 To 12
3. That Wasn't Flying That Was Falling With Style
4. Swings And Roundabouts
5. Nail And Bail
6. 5:1 Albatross
7. Sex Seduced Suzie