I first caught Dead Now back in January when they opened for Red Fang and DEMONS at a sold-out show at The EARL, and from where I was standing, which was right up front, they were the standout of the night. Now signed to Brutal Panda Records, they’ll release their self-titled debut EP on Sept. 7.
Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Andrew Elstner (of St. Louis slammers Tilts and Riddle of Steel, and onetime member of Torche), and bassist Derek Schulz and drummer Bobby Thebarge of Atlanta’s Day Old Man, the threesome tears it up on Dead Now, mapping hitherto uncharted bog country somewhere under Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, where Jane’s Addiction’s “Mountain Song” crumbles Into the Void. Seriously, the guitars on this thing dominate with their canyon-rumbling tones, the rhythms shake and pummel, and Elstner’s voice, well, it has undeniable reflections of both Ozzy and Perry Ferrell. Best track is the second one, “Ritchie Blackmourning,” both a blistering tip of the fretboard to the Deep Purple founding guitarist and also the catchiest “metal” song I’ve heard in years. The whole record thunders like a battalion of tanks, resulting in a disorienting but euphoric dizzy spell.
The day after the EP’s release, Dead Now embarks on an East Coast/Midwest tour with Red Fang and Big Business, but will celebrate both the record and the end of the tour with a hometown show at 529 on Sept. 30 with Metz.
Photo by David Parham.