Dead Gaze

Artist
Label
Release Date
Writer
Dead gaze is the musical nom de guerre of Cole Furlow, Mississippi resident and member of the Cats Purring Art Collective - a slew of music-makers native to that locale. Active under the Dead Gaze name since 2009, Furlow is the owner of a prolific back catalogue, having released numerous cassettes and records across various labels – and this is the material from which the tracks on this eponymous compilation of an album are drawn (alongside some new unheard ones). The first thing you notice about Dead Gaze is that it’s all very fuzzy – not so much in a warm and fuzzy sense – but more in the sonic application sense; everything is deliberately and quite heavily distorted; vocals, guitars, synths and drums – to the point that when the drums come in you’ll swear there’s something wrong with your speakers/headphones, such is the unusualness of an overdriven snare and cymbal. To be fair, it’s really quite wonderful on opener “Remember What Brought Us Here”, a track with a nigh-on endorphin inducing amount of joy and bounce about it, and as good as anything you’re likely to hear this year in fact. The rest of the album, perhaps to a lesser extent, follows its’ lead, though never manages to hit those same highs again – the morass of over-saturated sound never leaves (although it does decay slightly in the slower, quieter numbers) – Furlow’s dedication to his crusade, his emphasis on texture as an instrument, is certainly admirable, but might leave you feeling his over-zealousness is somewhat detrimental to the overall picture. There are some brilliant ideas here, and some great song-writing on show, but some of it really gets bogged down in the production. That being said, at least it’s a cohesive if not slightly batty vision, held together over 12 tracks, and if it’s a sound that resonates then you’re sure to disagree. Well worth a listen for the first track alone, and for “Take Me Home or I Die Alone”, and for “I Found The Ending”… in fact you should listen to it all, honour the labour and single-minded belief that’s gone into it – it’s the people that think and see things a little differently that really matter after all.