Dead Men Win Fights - Mini Album

Bill Cummings 08/05/2005

Rating: 3/5

Manchester based four piece Dead Men Win Fights are an interesting prospect: shambling indie pop is the sphere which they move in. The soundtrack to a load of empty northern nights, on their debut demo mini album they show some promise whilst leaving enough rough edges to be smoothed out in the demo process. Opener and single 'Youth club' is a stuttering little indie number that hints at the Buzzcocks, The kinks and Wire in its stream of consciousness vocal style, and the spoken word part certainly compliments the screeching bouncing guitar work here - not outstanding but enjoyable is the word.

Elsewhere Chasing Cars is an enjoyable spoken word/rock indie track with more than a hint of the style that has made Art Brut so popular recently; and a career for The Fall, while 'Gig In A Room' is a neat slice of rocky indie with front man Stephen Bray at times resembling a slightly fey northern Lou Reed, it's a nice song with a nice set of guitar licks and a clattering rhythm. Less successful is 'Weak Man's Blues' as it sounds suspiciously like the kind of track a band uses to tighten and hone their sound. Next up is the rather curious 'Boyfriend in a band' with its groupie baiting set of lyrics and mixture between the rhythmic vocals of Bray and the hoarse backings of Burrow on bass. Last track is 'Lay Off The Booze”; a skippy art/ indie slice of alcoholic charm, complete with fuzz boxed guitars and another stream of words; this is the style that suits Dead Men Win Fights best in my estimation.

A good little mini album with some songs that show the hard work the band have put in, in a live setting. However a word of warning: some of these tracks are eminently skip-able and whilst the lo fi style they go for is all the rage in some quarters, at times, it can just end up sounding amateurish.