Dead Coyote – Apparitionata EP
Release Date: 13/03/2021
Running Time: 12:31
Review by Dark Juan
Good morning, you beautiful bunch of fiends, miscreants and performers of derring-do, wizardry and providers of potions. I trust I find you all hale and hearty? Excellent…
A word if I may, about myself and what I do. Doubtless, some people would state that it is a red flag for me to talk about myself in a review, but this needs to be said. First of all, I find that reading a review that isn’t imbued with some form of humour to be fucking boring, frankly. Secondly, most of the time in my preambles I am busily taking the piss out myself and I don’t see a problem with this. Thirdly, and this is most important – I am a reviewer of records and a music critic. It is my fucking JOB to offer my opinion about the music I am listening to and to inform you poor souls who actually read this shit (granted, in my case this is in a long winded and hopefully amusing way which frequently veers off the path of what I am ACTUALLY SUPPOSED to be doing) whether or not it is worth you spaffing your hard-earned cash over the music I am privileged to hear. I am not here to be popular and to just gush and tell you every single album and EP I listen to is fucking terrific.
Some aren’t. Some are awful. Warrior Soul know this.
Despite the (on average) three hundred words of random shit that you have to plough through before you get to the actual review, I take this fucking SERIOUSLY, because it is you people out there who may well spend oodles of wonga on the word of a Northern pseudo-Satanic twat with delusions of grandeur. Therefore, I make no apology for what I do, the way I do it, or whether or not I like something. I’m not even bothered if you’re offended, to be honest. Like I have said before:
ALL ART IS SUBJECTIVE AND I CAN ONLY GIVE MY OWN OPINION. Some of you pay attention. Others don’t. Which is fine.
Now I have got this off my chest, I want to tell you about the cavalcade of mad bastards that are Dead Coyote. They come from the extremely diverse Portland, Oregon in the good old US of A, formed in 2008 and appear to be stuck in a bizarre otherworld of draughty twilight castles, harpsichords and gorgeous, alabaster fleshed vampiric beauties. Yes, “Apparitionata” is (as the mad twats themselves describe it) “A Gothic Dance Poperetta”. In ACTUAL English this means we have a four track EP, so I shall default to my usual method for EPs and describe it track by track. Let us clasp hands and plunge in together…
‘Prelude’ is track one and is a minute and fifty-five seconds of scene setting with swirling keyboards, vocals done in the manner of a circus ringmaster or narrator and atmospheric electronic backgrounds undercut with subtle bass playing. It is very good indeed, like a Cradle Of Filth keyboard intro with added juvenile humour. I’m all about juvenile humour.
‘Leave Me In The Ground’ is the first song proper on the EP and if you could please exercise your imagination for me, that would be grand. Thank you… Imagine David Byrne dressed like The Damned’s Dave Vanian fronting an extravagantly gothed up Talking Heads (I have to admit, the thought of Tina Weymouth in a gorgeous black taffeta gown and gothic eye makeup has made me come over all unnecessary. I’ll be back in a hot minute…) with the humour that is endemic to the Tiger Lilies’ lighter moments. It’s chamber goth played at pop tempos and it is frankly superbly amusing, with well thought out lyrics that do not fail to raise a smile if you listen carefully, delivered with that slightly manic energy that Byrne was famous for.
Track three is ‘Lazy Ghost’ which opens with a single repeated piano note and spooky swirling keyboards and minor notes and the seductive whispers of a lady in the shadows before crashing into “Phantasmagoria” era The Damned sounds and yet more gothic David Byrne histrionic vocals, again shot through with idiosyncratic humour and pacing not unlike a 70’s punk band. It is also supremely danceable, with a sneaky nod to disco in the middle eight and the end of the song. Don’t think I haven’t noticed, you black clad scamps! This is also extraordinarily good.
The last song is ‘My Hiding Place’ and now the drumming reminds me of Talking Heads, yet with a guitar break that nods in the direction of HIM and keyboards that remind this Hellpriest of the more gothic electronic stylings of Psyclon Nine when they were a gothic industrial band in their early career. Dead Coyote throw the kitchen sink at this tune, with pop hooks in the chorus, piano twinkling throughout and a menacing undertow of bass and synth, before ending on a gentle piano glissando that finishes on a disturbing discordant note. Marvellous.
How the fuck do I quantify this band for you? Metal it certainly is not, but fun and amusing it certainly is. Imagine the pop sensibilities of Talking Heads, the experimental nature of The Damned when they were exploring goth, the bombastic nature of The Sisters Of Mercy, the classical sensibilities of the barely sane gothic pixie that is Emilie Autumn and the humour and wry sideways glances of The Tiger Lilies, and you have a rough picture of what Dead Coyote are. And, as a sad old goff, I cannot recommend this EP to you enough as an amusing change from blasting your brain with metal. I love this EP. It’s fucking brilliant, but it is NOWHERE near long enough.
The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System will be following Dead Coyote closely and awards them 9/10, deducting a mark simply because this EP functioned more as an amuse-bouche rather than a musical banquet, and such is my enthusiasm for this band I couldn’t help but want more…
“Apparitionata” (Official Full EP Video) – It is a work of art (Rick)!
02. Leave Me in the Ground
03. Lazy Ghost
04. My Hiding Place
Zach Retzl – Piano, Guitar, Vocals
Jonathan Ventrella – Drums, Additional Vocals
Izabella Weiss – Bass, Additional Vocals
Adrian Retzl – Synthesizer
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