Dead Maids
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Dead Maids

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"VARIOUS ARTISTS – Terrascope Audio Entertainment, Vol. 1"

Dead Maids' ‘Ghost’ is a swelling, post rock guitar onslaught that frequently attains the dizzying heights of some of my favourite bands travelling in these stratospheric circles, like Tarentel, Explosions In The Sky, The Seven Mile Journey, as well as Terrastock vets, Paik and Kinski. I was slack jawed and mesmerised for this complete, ten-minute body wash. - Terrascope - Jeff Penczak


"DEATH OF THE MONSTER BASTARD PROJECT"

Were I a lazy journalist, I might easily draw a comparison between the sound of Dead Maids and that of predominantly instrumental outfits from the stoner-rock end of the post-rock spectrum. Bands such as Windmills by the Ocean (formed out of ex-pats from Red Sparowes and Isis), with their brilliantly un-subtle blending of elements of Black Sabbath and Sigur Ros, spring immediately to mind.
Ever diligent in my research however, I have forced myself along to see Dead Maids play live a dozen or more times in almost as many different dives across the southern half of England in the past couple of years - and I can assure you, dear reader, that there’s a lot more to this band than merely shadowing players from several leagues above them. Dead Maids are closer to Stackwaddy than they are to Sabbath; more Shellac than Sigur Ros. They have strong, memorable original songs - and most of all they have presence. The 3 guys dominate the stage between them: Robin Heading crouching over the drums like he’s about to stab them, bassist Dave Joy looking on ambivalently under a mass of curly fair hair, and guitarist Chris Dowling-Holmes ripping chords out of his guitar as if performing open-heart surgery on one of Dracula’s daughters.
Together they carve mountainous instrumental soundscapes which range from bleary-eyed to teeth-rattling, often within the confines of the same song. On the opening pair of linked numbers ‘Low Winter Sun’ and ‘Bleach of Dawn’ for example, a steady riff builds on itself, echoing and reverberating, waiting to explode into a melee of fuzz and distortion bent on destroying on all who oppose it. The eleven-minute long ‘An Image to Uphold and a Heritage to Honour’ draws the band closer to the primordial sea of massive, slow moving, and circulating riffs exemplified by bands like Mono, while the final song on this all too short (35 minute) CD-EP, the brilliant 'Ghost', finds them exploring similar sonic territory to Kinski, with whirling cascades of guitars pouring like rain from brooding dark clouds that hang imposingly low on the horizon. It's arguably their finest song yet and it's also the newest, so don't be fooled by the EP's title: this is just the beginning and definitely not the end.
An invitation to play the next Terrastock festival wherever and whenever it’s held has already been sent. Don’t wait until then to check them out though: Dead Maids are the sound of the now, and this EP is as good an introduction as any to their world. Oh, and one final note: inner sleeve artwork is by Rob Sharples, as if further confirmation of their Terrascopic credentials were necessary...
- Terrascope - Phil McMullen


Discography

31.03.08 - EP; Death of the Monster Bastard Project

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Bio

Dead Maids is a 3-piece post-rock band from Bath, UK, including Robin Heading (drums), Dave Joy (bass) and Chris Dowling-Holmes (guitar). The band formed in 2005 under the name Monster Bastard Project, before they became Dead Maids at the end of 2007. They have spent the last two years making a name for themselves in the southwest of England, and are now looking to widen their fanbase with dates across the country, as well as travelling to the U.S. in June. They were one of the first bands to be personally invited to play this year’s Terrastock festival in Louisville, Kentucky, where they will be playing alongside bands such as Mono, Grails, Oneida, Acid Mother’s Temple, Wooden Shjips, Kinski and Bardo Pond.
While reflecting the post-rock realm of their contemporaries, Dead Maids’ minimal instrumentation gives them an atmosphere of their own. The heavier stoner-rock-influenced sections sporadically descend into pure noise, but never for too long: a focal point of the band’s strengths is the ability to manipulate the quieter, clean and melodic moments into dramatic peaks that can evolve into a more metallic riff, or take another melodic tack. Due to record their album with Steve Albini in July, their debut EP is an insight into their forte - the live performance. The tracks span minimalistic single-instrument breaks, spoken-word samples, full-band onslaughts and melodies that rise, spiral and weave, leading you to euphoric endings, or beginnings.