Monday, 13 May 2013
Dead Man's Tree - The Dead Man's Tree
Dead Man's Tree play rough-arsed, broken-nosed music of a kind you'd expect to find lurking under a bush in Alabama or struggling to make ends meet in a dank Louisiana swamp. They're from the UK but the good news is this doesn't affect their authenticity or grizzled sound one bit. Their new self-titled EP is available for free download from their bandcamp site so there's really no excuse not to go and find this out for yourself.
It's a four track affair, featuring the garage stomp of 'Ain't Done You No Harm', the dense rocker 'Discontented Man' and two other tracks: 'Station Blues', which I played late last year on my show and 'The Dead Man's Tree', which I'm playing in my Dandelion Radio show in May - it's a growling, lurking monster of a track that moves real slow, dropping sumptuous guitar lines into the deep crevices left behind by the low tempo groove. It's become my favourite track on the EP because, I suppose, it allows the band more space to do what they do, which can only be a good thing.
That's not to say the up tempo stuff isn't appealing: on the contrary, everything on this all too brief collection is an absolute stormer. I've found myself instinctively putting it on and then finding myself reaching next for The Band's early albums. Not that Dead Man's Tree sound anything like The Band, but there's that same old time quality to what they do, that same penchant for carefully manicuring a sound until it sounds absolutely right rather than over-egging it until it's stripped of all individuality, which is the problem with a lot of the bands who work loosely in the very broad genre that somebody decided to name alt-blues.
Dead Man's Tree stand out precisely because they aren't just playing games with the blues: this is music that clearly comes from their souls and has a sense of reverence that makes me wish I could access their music collections. I can't, but this EP is an excellent alternative.
Download: The Dead Man's Tree