Dead Skeletons played the first show of Berlin’s restored SO36, opening proceedings in style with ecstatic psychedelic drone-rock. Live In Berlin is available as a CD, or as a lushly-packaged double vinyl set pressed to coloured wax, wherein the D-side is attractively screen-printed. 1000 copies on Fuzz Club.
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How the fuck has everyone played in Berlin but me? Granted, I don’t have a band, but I’d improvise if anyone wants to volunteer my expenses. Clint, head of our Grouchiness Department, once famously said he’d rather go to Wakefield than Berlin (maybe; sounds like some shit he’d say), but I don’t think psych rockers feel the same way. ‘Live In Berlin’, by the very tautologically named Dead Skeletons, is a psych rock record that was recorded live, in Berlin.
I often wanna say of psych rock what others say of jazz -- that live records are as good as their studio counterparts, if for completely different reasons. Of course, psych rock isn’t even nearly as good as jazz, but if the recording is good, it’s always just as well that you’re hearing a band keep their groove up and solo aplenty in real time. Listening to this one, it’s easy to imagine yourself submerged in the crowd at SO36, a notable distanced scoped between you and Dead Skeleton as their crystalline riffs begin to emanate from underneath that ever-sturdy drumbeat. The fuzz climbs in and I can imagine the lights coming down. Lovely.
Dead Skeleton sound committed to putting on a compelling show, making it well told story rather than a psychedelic ramble -- their intros are long and considered, but their songs squeak out enough intonations of their lead guitar and its corresponding distortion that you don’t merely feel locked into one sound forever. When the vocals come in, it’s almost as if the grumpy dude from Einstürzende Neubauten has abandoned his abstract rawk for that straight-and-narrow psychedelic stuff.
This is an impressive and not overly-droning psychedelic shift, with enough twists in melody and tempo to keep the heads in that crowd from nodding off. A piece of advice: don’t start a band called Live In Berlin. You will not make a good google search.
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