CD REVIEW: The Better Death - The Better Death
By Cyrus Rhodes - 06/09/2010 - 02:00 PM EDT
Artist: The Better Death
Album: The Better Death
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Progressive Rock
Sounds Like: Jane’s Addiction, Muse, Filter, L7
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Willow
Weakness: At 25 minutes it’s a bit short
Dallas Texas 4 piece, The Better Death release this debut 5 song CD in the Spring 2010.
Logging in at just over 25 minutes, the CD kicks things off with “Message to Your Rival” a progressive rock crescendo that delivers aggressive guitar attack, driving rock rhythms, & rich melodic foundation that peaks & valleys its way through fruition. Track 2 “Versus” shifts gears a bit with mesmerizing sonic intro set against a sinister background, eventually lending itself to progressive rock explosion delivering full tilt guitar, sizzling bass lines, & rich vocal passion from lead singer Sean Dailey. As this CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical influences reminiscent of classic acts as Jane’s Addiction, Filter, & Muse. The website says they sound like “L7 without the vagina” – well I couldn’t agree more with that statement. Despite some of the influences it's quite amazing how refined & original their overall sound is. The music itself is very progressive, dynamic, and extremely unpredictable. Note for note, song for song it will definitely keep you guessing. There are also lush layers of melodic instrumentation & sonic touches sprinkled everywhere. I would classify this music as Progressive Experimental Rock with a strong emphasis on vocal melody. The musicianship of this 4 piece will leave your head spinning as they dish out some truly amazing chops along the way. Drummer (Danny Handler) pushes the natural accents well, bassist (Ricky Working) lays down flowing bass lines that flutter around like a pissed off hornet. The guitar work of (Ed McMahon) is highly diverse & melodic, sometimes hitting hard, other times delivering classic rock vibe. The most impressive thing about this CD is the passionate vocal delivery of lead Singer Sean Dailey. He has a vocal swagger similar to a Mike Patton (Faith No More), Mathew Bellamy (Muse) & out of control like a Perry Ferrell (Jane’s Addiction). He pretty much lets it all hang out emotionally on all the songs, his voice is solid, & he brings a lot of entertainment value to the table. From Passionate “Devoted Like Flies” to mesmerizing “La Muerte Mejor” to my personal favorite “Willow” this CD pretty much delivers 25 minutes of carefully controlled chaos. .
At 25 minutes the CD is a bit short. I respect the artists intention to let the statement run it’s natural course, but at the end of the day it just feels like an incomplete statement. If this CD had say 20 more minutes of music, I would give it the last star without hesitation.
From start to finish The Better Death” CD is one hell of a ride. The music is highly original & creative, extremely melodic, & like the aforementioned unpredictable as hell. You will have no idea what waiting for you around the next corner – that’s the best part of this musical experience. The writing and playing abilities of this 4 piece is as good as it gets with respect to the genera in question. The mixing & mastering is flawless. The writing & playing abilities are world class, & finally the vocal presence of Sean Dailey is nothing short of brilliant. In close I can honestly say The Better Death is one of the hottest bands I’ve heard this year. I look forward to hearing more material from this 4 piece - hopefully soon.
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