Deadboy & the Elephantmen are a duo who mix raggedy harmonies with some guitar-oriented rock & roll, particularly on the prodding but catchy opener "Stop, I'm Already Dead," resembling Iggy Pop and Kate Pierson if they decided to go to the White Stripes university. The tandem of Dax Riggs and Tessie Brunet also seem to make Angus Young-like crunchy guitar riffs suit the slightly groovy arrangement to a tee. From there, they tone things down to a dirge-like folk tune entitled "No Rainbow," almost the antithesis of the previous track, with a claustrophobic, sparse framework. They return to this often, including during a lovely, cozy "Evil Friend." Just as soothing but creepy is "How Long the Night Was," which starts with a distant guitar and vocal before veering off into some Ziggy Stardust-like glam rock flavor with a thick, meaty hook. The greatest asset thus far is they move from one infectious area of rock to another with the greatest of ease, especially the lighter but poppy "Ancient Man." The contrast of hard and soft is another key, with the male vocal sounding like a rockier Ron Sexsmith during the magical "Dressed in Smoke." The lone time where the music sounds too much like the White Stripes is the drum-fuelled "Blood Music," yet it comes off as one of the album's highlights as they squeeze everything out of the song before capping things off. Only during "Kissed by Lightning" do Deadboy & the Elephantmen go over the top, something Queens of the Stone Age might be have a better result with. Following a strong "Misadventures of Dope," the group takes its time with the moody, lo-fi "Break It Off."
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jason MacNeil