Tuesday, February 12, 2013

EP Review - Dead Ranch -'Birds Of Pray'

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Record label: Unsigned

Track Listing:

1. Pheramone
2.Attack Of The Sky Creatures
3.Electric Yellow
5.Touch Fuzzy,Get Dizzy

Formed in the wintery isolation of Winnipeg, Dead Ranch ply a brand of sludgy punk-metal with progressive flourishes that puts one in mind of countrymen Bison B.C's earlier works.'Birds Of Pray' is their debut effort, and has thus far garnered the band a considerable amount of attention in their home town,leading the young quartet to share a stage with Jucifer, and earned them a fair amount of radio play on local college radio to boot.The band are also  currently preparing their debut full length with producer Jesse Garner(Bison B.C,Japandroids).

Opener 'Pheramone' starts things off promisingly,  skewed, angular sludge riffs rocketing along on a mammoth groove, the band's rhythm section acquitting themselves well, and there's some interesting ideas going on here,the band offering nods to everything from crust to prog to hardcore punk.'Attack Of The Sky Creatures' is a little more straightforward, a stoner metal number  that recalls early Black Tusk.'Electric Yellow' is a raucous hardcore tune  that would sit easily alongside anything off the new Cancer Bats record,while 'Konan' is more of the same, a propulsive blaster that recalls Manchester psychos Raging Speedhorn at their most bloodthirsty.Closer 'Touch Fuzzy,Get Dizzy' however, is a different beast altogether.Opening with two or so minutes of assorted wind instruments, including the bizarre but never unwelcome addition of a didgeridoo, it spazzes out suddenly into   vicious punk metal territory ,before  going all Iron Monkey on us with a junked up stoner/doom outro.
Bewildering stuff . . .

Of course, as has to be said, it's far from perfect.The production is noticeably demo quality,and at times the band are sometimes outpaced their own ambitions.But there is a refreshing sense of invention and energy here for a sludge demo, and with a proper producer at the helm, the band should produce something really special next time out.As it is, an enjoyable listen, and a band to keep an ear out for.

Rating: 6.5/10

For fans of: Bison B.C, Bacchus, Black Tusk, XII Boar, Kvelertak

Listen to/Download it here: http://deadranch.bandcamp.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deadranch

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