Death Pedals by Death PedalsRelease date: February 12, 2018
Label: Hominid Sounds
Annoyingly, noise punks Death Pedals are calling it quits after a few farewell gigs later this month. Happily, they’ve gone and made us one third and final album to leave behind, which is also called Death Pedals, just to be sure. It’s a cracker as well.
Pop it on and you get about ten, fifteen seconds of ominous rumble to brace yourself before the guitars come crashing down like rain in sheets. It doesn’t really let up for the next half hour, but moves through a range of sounds and approaches to keep your attention.
They play a blend of hardcore, noise rock and garage punk that never leans too generically in any direction and still pushes forward from their own previous efforts. The cover art is about perfect, a stark black and white image features what looks like a fox cub roaring, or possibly yawning. It’s fierce and feral but also kind of adorable at the same time. So it is with Death Pedals. I think of them as cuddly but can be surprised by their bite.
Would be anthem ‘I Am A Loser’ tears past in less than two minutes of furious disappointment and frustration that somehow appreciates how going full blown self hatred would be pitifully self involved. The lyrics across the album are an inchoate blur, but the prevailing mood seems to be of that formless draining rage at life’s endless parade of indignities and your helplessness before it that makes you just want to scream into the sky. This record is the sound of that daily misery being exorcised through the comforting obliteration of loud music and drinking bags of cans with your mates.
It’s not all racingly fast thrashing though, ‘Lower’ slows things down without losing any of the intensity and goes a bit math/post rock with some brutally disciplined riffing. ‘Shower Of Shit’ starts out in the same clipped vein before twisting into a wonderfully abject lump of noise rock spite. From there it’s a race to the chequered flag. I can’t tell you how my heart sinks when I see a band has titled a song ‘4-20’, but there’s no stoner pondering or laziness on display here, it’s the fastest most furious tune on the record. If the previous couple have torn flat out across the desert this is like Thelma and Louise going off the cliff, it’s exhilarating, and an absolutely masterful grip of dynamics keeps it punchy and vibrant.
Finally ‘You’re A Fake’ is something of an epic sliding in on a clanky riff that recalls ‘Box Elder’, it builds a scraping wall of noise, drops out builds it up again with an extra layer of distortion then stops dead on a cymbal crash to leave a howling electrical hum that buzzes with stray bleeps. It’s a hell of a way to go out. If you can get to those last few shows, I recommend it.
We’ve not heard the last of them though, elsewhere their ferocious drummer Tom does the same in USA Nails, while bassman and producer Wayne is the non drumming half of Big Lad. Both bands are excellent. The other two are off to stalk Hot Snakes and/or pretend to be grown ups. For now we’ve all got this to enjoy, lets get a bag of cans in and crank it up really loud.