Death of Fashion
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Death of Fashion

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


You could make it your life’s vocation to hate these guys and it wouldn’t be difficult. They possess the type of crooked tunes bled through with the kind of gnawing hooks that most bands would happily exchange their souls in return for. ‘Hello Movement’ sounds so casual and laid back you’d swear they’d recorded it lying down. They swagger and slyly strut like no other band in your record collection or for that matter in the collective memory of your close knit circle of friends. They’ve got better hair than you. They get invites to all the grooviest parties in town. And, just to rub salt in the wounds have better sex than you. Let’s face it they are real fucking cool - cooler than you’ll ever hope to be. You hate them don’t you.

One of ‘Hello Movement’s main virtues / attributes is the fact that it’s not immediate. Last years taster release - the awesome ‘These Days’ / ‘It’s all ours’ single (incidentally both included here) was a shot between the eyes posted notice that they’d arrived and were ready to shoot the shit with most of the new wave / post punk scene setters while simultaneously having the Strokes groaning with (presumably) heads in hand at the audacity of the undergrounds latest riff slinging kids on the block. Yet one year on and listening to what passes for their 11 track debut full length you kind of get the feeling that these two cuts were mere teething blips in a sort ’yea we can do that sexy as hell hip hugging three chord razor sharp post punk / new wave crossover type thing until the cows come - but hey how about checking out these babies’.

And babies they are because what Death of Fashion have done, and cleverly so, is to stretch the usual well trodden and over done trademark post punk meets art house sometimes hanging out with new wave disco crossover ideology (listen to the better than Franz scarred white funk of ‘Smoke and Mirrors’) and tapped in an amorphous looseness as opposed to the usual dogged regimented tightness that most bands opt for. This in turn makes for a strangely interesting listening adventure especially during the latter half of the album where things get a little more fluid and less defined. If you were to pin down three irrefutable reference points as to where this leaves Death of Fashion’s headspace then try Television, anything remotely veering into the orbit Warhol’s legendary factory and Talking Heads.

‘These days’ is a resplendently colourful blaze of soured spiked euphoria that mainlines directly into your nervous systems scrambling your life signs and which, despite its heavy hanging downcast sentiment, still manages to both sadistically and seductively meter out a divinely crushing sucker punch. ’It’s all ours’ is your pedal to the floor boot stomping CBGB’s grind that’s part Ramones meets Heartbreakers overseen by the Velvets replete with petulant sneers, lip curls and a riff that sounds suspiciously as though its been lifted wholesale from Cochran’s ’Something Else’. Elsewhere ‘Lady Lust’ strangely at odds with the rest of the set opens with what sounds like Craftwork’s ‘Neon Lights’ (albeit corrupted) before moving at pace into pastures more associated with the English music hall - mid 70’s mind set of the Kinks along the way gently sampling (dare I say) in abundance, Mungo Jerry’s ‘In the Summertime’.

‘Sailor Song’ and ‘Left Right’ are almost separated at birth both deploying similarly austere spectral new wave nuances, the former in particular sounding like some studio summit featuring the Flaming Stars, The Fall, Cathal Coughlan and the Bad Seeds while the latter, arguably the best thing on the album, is quite frankly this generations ’Marquee Moon’ as though teased, coaxed and decoded by an assortment of irregular rhythmic spasms more associated with classic era Byrne and Co. Then there’s the irresistibly fractured and skewed noire-ish psychosis of ‘Urgency in Harlem’ with its freewheeling fried fingered riffs and that unmistakable air of the dusty 50’s infatuated swamp blues so dearly loved of Gallon Drunk. ‘Porcelain Voice’ is similarly touched though benefiting from a tighter and less wayward arrangement.

And if you do decide to foolishly question Death of Fashions cool credentials then button up and play ’Jenny Says’ and then have the balls to tell me otherwise - think Duane and Link shimmying up together for a spot of preening Berry-esque duck walking and hooking up with ’Psychocandy’ era JMC. It is that good - I kid you not.

No matter how daunting a debut ‘Hello Movement’ is - you still hate these cool fucking dudes from NYC - only ever more so now. Hateness and greatness await. Essential of course but then you probably gathered that already.


MARK BARTON - Losing Today UK


“...Probably the most English and the most self assured bit of kit to come out of New York since Quinten Crisp took a wrong turn on the way to somewhere sleazy n cool. Difference being that Death of Fashion are...a crackingly cracked rock n brainy-bop band and slightly less likely to run off with your sister, but keep an eye on your brother, and your hamster...” UNPEELED UK, 2005 - Unpeeled



“Death Of Fashion is #1 of 60 bands chosen from 10,000 unsigned by Pulse Rated’s A&R Team, preprogrammed onto 1 million Logik MP3 players sold now at Dixons, Currys & PC World in the UK...” PRESS RELEASE, FEBRUARY 2006 - pulse rated


Discography

Hello Movement LP - 2006
Lovely and Guilt Free EP - 2005
these days 7in - 2005

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Death Of Fashion 

Formed in Indiana, 2002, Death Of Fashion met while attending Indiana Wesleyan University. When barred from playing the college which cited, “questionable content” about their performances, the group realized their uncompromising vision, and dropped everything to pursue their music in the New York City scene. Arriving on the day of the blackout, August 15th, 2003, they began to cut their teeth on the underground bar and college circuit of Manhattan and Brooklyn from literally out of the dark, swinging open the U-Haul rear door & performing in the midtown lockdown.
   
Death Of Fashion, whose name recalls the title of Julian Schnabel's 1978 plate semblage painting, explores the intersection of visual art and music. The group was introduced to Julian at an exhibit in 2005 where the honor was shared. Collaborating with artist Todd DiCiurcio on many facets of their creative direction,  band members  Jesse A Davis, 23, (vocals/keyboards), Darryl Specht, 23, (bass), Jacob Bills, 23, (guitar/vocals), and Daniel Boivin, 22, (drums) are channeling the vibe of a true movement reminiscent of the days of Warhol and the Velvet Underground, a time of happenings. If they’re not writing music, the boys can be found spinning vinyls of their influences in a crammed Long Island City apartment with a small clan of hipsters: The Fall, Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, Roxy Music, Bowie...and chatting up a cultural revolution.

Their first EP was released on vinyl by basement outfit Canarsie Records titled, “These Days” in early 2005. At the start of 2006, their debut album was recorded live over four days at Water Music Studios in Hoboken, NJ.
“HELLO MOVEMENT “, produced by Kevin March (from Guided By Voices, Shudder To Think), and John Agnello (Bob Dylan, The Breeders, Dinosaur Jr.) self released in Spring 2006 on Murder Mystery Records. Kevin & John continue to work closely with the band, cultivating new ways of recording & growing their sound.

While their following grows full of interesting characters and celebrities with every show, Death Of Fashion’s live performances remain very unpredictable, full of energy & magnetism. During the final song of their Halloween 2005 event at The Supper Club, Jesse scaled the balcony and was forcibly removed from the venue by security for a reported “suicide attempt”. Undistracted, the group  completed the last two songs of their set with a magnificent crescendo.  This is what a genuine rock and roll band is all about: …love of brothers and a mission.