Dead Science, a Seattle trio formed by guitarist and vocalist Sam Mickens and bassist Jherek Bischoff, filled
Submariner (Absolutely Kosher, 2003) with slow and brooding
jazz-tinged ballads like Tension at Pitch with a peak of pathos in
the seven-minute elegy Unseeing Eye.
The EP Bird Bones In The Bughouse (2004) is a worthwhile corollary.
The best songs of
Frost Giant (Absolutely Kosher, 2005), with new drummer Nick Tamburro,
were more vibrant and at the same time more discordant.
Intricate patterns contrast with the passionate crooning in
Last Return and especially Drrrty Magneto.
The trio was drifting towards the prog-rock style of
Elaine DiFalco's Caveman Shoestore and
Amy Denio, with the avant-poppy sensibility of
Carla Bozulich's Geraldine Fibbers.
Mickens' vocals are now a feeble falsetto and
occasionally it sounds like he's fainting (Sam Mickens' Dream,
Lil Half Dead), an effect that detracts from the power of the music.
Villainaire (Constellation, 2008) begins with a demonstration of how
they can fuse the unlikely element of a classical harp, a funky rhythm and
melismatic falsetto in Throne of Blood. Then they indulge in the
symphonic emphasis of The Dancing Destroyer and in the
Middle-eastern shuffle Make Mine Marvel, one of their best songs ever.
The jarring and discordant Monster Island Czars is typical of their
Alas, the album loses quickly momentum after the first four songs, becoming
one long litany.
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