Album: The Dead 60s

The Dead 60s, Deltasonic
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The Dead 60s eschew the psychedelic-pop influences that drive fellow Liverpudlian outfits such as Clinic, The Coral and The Zutons - indeed, their name, it seems, is a sly dig at the local compliment, "You sound dead Sixties." Instead, they've opted to mine the currently fashionable 2-Tone ska offbeats and brittle Talking Heads/XTC new-wave guitar influences, while discarding the self-consciously arty attitudes that lend the likes of Franz Ferdinand and Kaiser Chiefs a certain wry charm. The result, on tracks such as "Loaded Gun" and the single "Riot Radio", is akin to the social-realist punk-funk posturings of The Gang of Four or the dour ska-punk commentaries of The Specials: all stiff, angular beats and declamatory soundbites. The band admit they prefer the simplicity of sloganeering to the complexities of songwriting, and there's plenty of evidence in lines such as, "It takes time to kill time," and, "I'm trying to follow the tick-tick-tick at the heart of the nation." These are hollow, leaden coinings, unlikely to inspire in the manner of epithets such as, "To live outside the law you must be honest, " and, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." But then, The Dead 60s have a vested interest in perpetuating the notion of a drab urban dystopia from which escape is not just impossible, but also in some sense immoral.

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