DEADLETTER have a very special song writing skill: with each new release, this four-piece manage to throw you into three minutes of pure bliss that leaves you hanging on the edge of the void.
Unsurprisingly, ‘Monday Night Terrors’ is no different. Frontman Zac Lawrence gives us no say in the matter as he sweeps us up into the haze of his nightmares, propelled by a driving cowbell (and we love a cowbell). On top of this, DEADLETTER always manage to nail their brass compositions. In their previous release, ‘Fit For Work’, the screaming sax plunged you into a spin, whereas here, these ominous harmonies sit somewhere between a slow-mo spaghetti western and the welcome parade into the arms of Hades. With the production of Theo Verney (TRAAMS, Lazarus Kane, FEET), George Ullyot’s bass, Will King’s guitar and Alfie Husband’s drums each have individual gravitas, yet they all meld together to produce a perfect storm.
Just when you think the song couldn’t get any more layered, this post-punk outfit break into a funky slow jam which you’d expect to stumble upon in a dub club or late-night speakeasy. You start to bop, thinking that the little grey freaks with their elastic whips (note the bitter cadences of Lawrence’s singing at 0:37) have taken off for the night. But the banshees aren’t discouraged that easily: reappearing right before they leave us with another round of the bass line breakdown, we’re inclined to check under our beds before we go to sleep. That’s our take, but perhaps it’s best to hear it from Lawrence himself: “Monday Night Terrors is a response to a severely terrifying series of early-hours nightmares I experienced. I had three dreams within one another, like three Russian-doll polythene bags wrapped around my head. Upon my perceived awakening from each dream, further horrors occurred, to the point that when I finally awoke, I was unable to tell whether or not I truly was sentient, as the horror continued.”
We hope Zac is ok. Crowdfunder for his dream therapy pending.
Photo by Joel Kerr