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Dead Feathers – All Is Lost Award winner

Dead Feathers
All Is Lost
by Dave Nowels at 02 September 2019, 3:49 AM

DEAD FEATHERS is one of those bands that really makes you wonder. “where have you been all my life?” “All is Lost” on Ripple Music is the band's first full-length and follows the band's 2016 4-song self-titled EP which is now sold out. But fear not, 3 of those songs are available here on “All is Lost”(though on CD and digital only).  The band hails from Chicago and play a stunningly perfect blend of Psychedelic Blues/Rock. Certainly bands playing this type of music is nothing new. But here's the deal, DEAD FEATHERS didn't invent this musical wheel by any means, but they've certainly refined and cultivated a strikingly potent brand all their own.

The first track “At the Edge” had me from the very first hazy, building notes. But once Marissa Allen begins her hauntingly beautiful vocals, it was game over. Holy shit. Allen has the vibe of a modern day Grace Slick, and indeed the band themselves has the Psych expansion presence of an updated/modernized Jefferson Airplane. But there's more to it. A deeper influence, I dare say a British Blues presence as well as 70's British electric folk. So AIRPLANE, FAIRPORT CONVENTION, the Psych heaviness of HAWKWIND and the more modern smartness of DEAD MEADOW and ALUNAH.  However you want to label or brand it, it's pretty spectacular.

In an album that flows and connects overall as well as “All is Lost”, it's difficult to pick stand out tracks. “At the Edge” sets the tone and cadence, with “Cordova” and “Horse and Sands” bringing heavy guns to the skirmish. Yet for me, it was “Smoking Gun” that really stood apart and connected with me. Sultry, nefarious and well constructed, the song builds and peaks musically as Allen's vocals accentuate the lyrical content vivaciously. 'Down the barrel cold/Damn your smokey soul./Down the barrel cold/you'll never be mine to hold.' It's a perfect song any way you approach it.

At times it feels like the songs could veer  into a jam expansive, exploratory realm that's only restrained because of the confines of recording. Keep 'em wanting more they say. Certainly I'd love to see the cosmic reaches many of these songs could travel to and through. Overall, the way they're presented here, these songs are full of emotion and soul, well written lyrics and a stellar presentation. Particularly the vocals of  Marissa Allen. But certainly she's not the only highlight here. The song compositions are precise and tangible. They're accessible, solid in foundation, yet exploratory in nature, and allow Allen's ethereal vocals to compliment their importance with passion. This is truly a band that blends to be a sum greater than their individual parts. In a year of pretty solid Doom/Psych/Heavy music releases, this has a different level feel to it. DEAD FEATHERS have firmly inserted themselves into consideration as one of the year's best releases.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Memorability: 10

5 Star Rating

1. At the Edge
2. With Me
3. Cordova
4. Horse and Sands
5. All is Lost
6. Darling Sighs
7. Smoking Gun
8. Night Child (CD/Digital only)
9. Not Ours to Own
10. Found Caravan (CD/Digital only)
Tony Wold - Guitar
Marissa Allen - Vocals
Tim Snyder - Guitar
Rob Rodak - Bass
Joel Castanon - Drums 
Record Label: Ripple Music


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Edited 20 February 2020

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