With a press release that compares the album to Mozart, Aphex Twin and Radiohead, it’s hard not to be intrigued by Dead Sea Choir’s debut. On the flipside though, is this just prog rock by another name? Well, there’s over an hour of music here, an abundance of styles (sometimes in just one song), curious titles and an undercurrent of insanity throughout so the signs are there.
‘Oriental Drippo’ certainly has shades of ‘Kid A’ about it, even down to Costa Stasinopoulos’ impressive Thom Yorke howl. ‘Move It Child’ emerges triumphantly from a background of shifting soundscapes, an elegiac keyboard melody, big beats and crazed harmonies and the wonderfully haunting ‘Image D93’ combines a lullaby-like tune with dreampop vocals.
Alas, it is the longest track where Dead Sea Choir come unstuck. Although not without its moments, ‘230’ is too busy with baroque synths, a classical interlude and maddening percussion to resemble anything coherent. ‘The Abyss’ also smacks of self-indulgence but the rut is halted by ‘On The Up And Up’ where Stasinopoulos’ flamoboyance is matched by fascinating and experimental alternative rock music.
‘Thin One The Red One’ may reach too high in terms of ambition but it’s a really well produced record that could have done with a bit more pruning and a little less meandering to make it great. However, the talent and originality is definitely there and you sense they will improve on future releases. Their cover art sums it up best: ‘We Have Found A Niche’, it proudly and rightfully claims.