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AAA Music | 26 November 2020

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Dead Confederate – Giving It All Away

| On 15, Aug 2010

Chiming with echoes of Doors/Pink Floyd era psychedelia, Dead Confederate’s ‘Giving It All Away’ is a track heavy on the organ settings of the keyboard. In fact, at some points it appears to be the dominant instrument, which is an unusual mixing choice and this is what mars the track, as it intrudes on the very skilful guitarwork. Not to say that keyboards, these ones or others, should be ignored, merely that the clash makes for slightly claustrophobic listening in what should be a dreamy opening.

On the whole, this is a track that improves as it goes along. Initially, we are handed a slab of echo-drenched guitar and slightly nasal vocals, backed by a thudding drum march that indeed fits well together but leave us with a bit of an awkward position: parts of this song shout your bog standard alt-rock, parts shout classic rock and parts shout something else.

This “something else” surfaces as psychedelia in the aforementioned organ keyboards and enticingly exotic melodic features at play here as modes and atypical scales flicker beneath the surface, and despite the wobbly intro, once it settles down, this single becomes a largely enjoyable and yet sweetly succinct aural journey to embark upon. The keyboards whisper hints of Deep Purple and Pink Floyd, whereas the guitars with their esoteric melodies and heavy echo are reminiscent of the late great John McGeoch with a more straight-up ability to rock out. The instrumental ending is where it all comes together in a nearly metallic fashion, the guitar spiralling into the territory of a distorted rock solo and the cymbals leaping rapidly from the otherwise soft yet thumping percussion. However, what bothers me is that this is a band that seem almost afraid of pushing things: the music, while most definitely interesting feels a little overly accessible, and the lyricism is annoyingly oblique when the vocals are indeed audible.

Based on this evidence, I wouldn’t say that Dead Confederate are the finished article quite yet. However, what they have hit upon is that nearly extinct and much-missed breed of rock, where patchouli-scented atmospherics coexist happily with leather jackets, and perhaps if they were to further push away from a slightly middle-of-the-road approach as far as mood is concerned, they could indeed spark if not a small revolution then at least a very interesting revival.

Author: Katie H-Halinski