Dead Confederate - Wrecking Ball

Craig Broad 23/12/2009

Rating: 3/5

You know that you are talented when the man responsible for signing Sonic Youth and Nirvana to Geffen hears your demo and straight away wants to sign you to his own label. This is exactly what has happened to Dead Confederate and after releasing an EP, touring with the likes of Deerhunter and Dinosaur Jnr they reconvened to record debut album "Wrecking Ball" which despite its late UK release date has already picked up speed in the US and led to a top 40 single in "The Rat", an appearance on Late Night With Conan O'Brien and a tour with legendary band, Meat Puppets.

It is easy to see why Gary Gersh signed Dead Confederate from the moment opening track "Heavy Petting" starts, the most aggressive and rousing track on the album, nodding towards Nirvana with the element of raw guitar work as singer Hardy Morris croons much alike early Kings Of Leon material. Lead single "The Rat" shows off some great lyricism alongside an obvious talent in commercial songwriting while "It Was A Rose" alongside "The News Underneath" have their roots firmly planted in the country genre both musically and lyrically. Despite the opening track, "Wrecking Ball" often leads itself down a bleak depressing and emotional path that is obviously influenced by the popular grunge movement we all appreciated but doesn't copy it note for note.

While big bearded men crooning over spilt whiskey and broken down trucks is usually my thing, I must admit that there are elements to Dead Confederate that I don't appreciate. Sadly for me at least, bar the first track, they rarely seem to get to get out of first gear and while I'm a fan of both slow and fast music, when it all feels one pace it can lead albums to drag. This brings me onto my second and last dislike in terms of "Wrecking Ball". The guitar work is utterly fantastic, especially the lead guitar work which shapes most of the songs on the album in terms of melody but while I appreciate it, it all sounds pretty much the same and towards the end of "Wrecking Ball" you wonder if it may have been more beneficial to write an amazing EP rather than an average album.

Overall, as a writer and a music fanatic, I am eager to hear what the next Dead Confederate record is like because if they can get it as right as they show on "Heavy Petting" and "The Rat" and spread that out across an album, there would be nothing stopping Dead Confederate being one of the alternative markets big hitters.

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