Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
Dead Confederate's Brantley Senn describes "The News Underneath," as one of the Athens, Georgia, band's "spaciest tracks," but it can, by no means, be pointed to as the only track that can claim the cosmos as accompaniment, as inspiration or as a loving mother or father. The band could put the songs from its latest record, "Wrecking Ball," into a prospector's pan and just as those old codgers could sift out the impurities and the silt from the precious metal, you could move that pan back and forth, shaking out all of next to nothing. All of the pieces that the band locks together in their big and bendy songs start getting bumped together and, as if they were magnets, held apart by unseen forces when they're working in tandem to form the full song. When they're being jostled, skating over the surface, they attract to one another and they clump. In the middle of the pan - at the conclusion of all the rattling and differentiating of textures and tones -- would exist a big ball of boundless and milky, outer space staring you down. It would have scorching guitars breathing into your face, so close you can feel the hot exhalations they're giving off move the hairs in your nose like a sudden gust. It's the kind of space we're talking about here, the kind that would feel as if it were in wait for some kind of prey that may or may not be coming around the corner at any time. It's the kind of space that rides around at a simmering, dramatic pace, as if all of the scenery and all of the people that are encountered along the way are fully analyzed and considered. There are no tossed off sentiments or half-baked ones in this outer space, for the enormousness of it would only make such things pitiful and puny, as flimsy as a dust mite. Dead Confederate moves in a preamble, then an ambling shambolic trot and tends to finish off their strolls with something that brings us back to a lovely, lamp-lit space that will continue glowing through whatever monsters or monsters friends might be out there, lurching and trying to catch us in our sleep. The songs that the band writes break and swerve through the contours and corridors of a twisty psyche, making it through those cacophonous wolves and their midnight howling, their noontime howling and their naptime howling, all of which tends to make the path close to being not navigable. You tend to get swallowed up by the storms of psychedelic disillusionment and the heavy clouds that stream through the waters of the tunes, but you visit all of the rooms provided, getting into all kinds of mind fucks and hazes. It's somehow such a great place to be mentally when this band takes you there, gazing out at all of the fallen and the wobbling bodies, hearing in them the stilted heartbeats.
Dead Confederate Official Site
The Artists Organization