Dear reader I’ll warn you in advance, this is going to be one massive car crash review. First, it was only when I heard DeadWax’s new single Dam yesterday that I loved it and committed to reviewing it, and second my reference point for hip hop/rap/grime is limited pretty much to Loyle Carner and Ren (both of whom I adore), and a bit of Stormzy (because he’s royalty init).
Hahaha apologies to the DeadWax boys, I’m going in.
I have seen local guys DeadWax live three times, and I always look forward to emptying my mind and off-loading my cares to their heavy almost Rage Against The Machine style vibe, mixed up with some angry rap vibes. This is a band (like Fudge) who can really get the audience eating out of the palm of their hand. Mad scenes, and this particular rotund bloke always leaves the gig old-man-sweaty, heart beating fast, feeling totally abso-f’king-utely ALIVE, and grinning from ear to ear.
So, while I know DeadWax (Jake Millburn (vocals/guitar), Sol Price (bass), Henry Skinner (guitar) and Ben Millington (drums)) like to mix it up a lot live, new release Dam is a complete game changer for their recorded output. These guys are complete jazz naturals, or rather rap jazz. You just know Miles Davis and A Tribe Called Quest would totally approve of what’s going on here.
So there’s that deep considered vibe in the music, while the rap of lead singer Jake goes into an urgent story about just wanting to escape from life for a few days. I remember DeadWax did an excellent live song about their experiences in Amsterdam (as we all do, possibly spent visiting a coffeehouse or three and making a puchase of something you might fancy with the guys who stand at the fringes of the tourist spots). This song felt so real and human and I thought it was stunning then (probably a year ago), and this recorded Dam is no doubt the developed and completed version.
With Dam DeadWax took something amazing and made it even better. Simple as.
*photos are taken from the band’s social media