Today I was treated to a wonderful MRI scan on my spine/back. Like the letter stated, I took a CD with me to listen to, when I got there I was told due to the kind of scan I was having I wouldn’t be able to use the headphones. I thought, “Okay I’ll just take a nap.” That happened briefly. Of course leading up to today I was panicking internally-turns out it wasn’t that bad but I am rubbish with keeping still. As I lay there, all I could think was how much the scan sounded like a My Bloody Valentine/The Jesus And Mary Chain record. It was noisy and it sounded like someone letting loose with a load of reverb. I think I managed to drown it out and pretend it was a song. I don’t know. Whatever gets you through, right? Maybe Kevin Shields also went for a MRI scan and thought “This could work on a record.” I’m going with that. Anyway, from one noise to another-Death Index.
Created in the belly of Berlin via bands members from Italy (ciao bella!) and America, the Death Index record is brutal. It’s uncomfortable, it’s noisy and it is dark. Put it down as one of the loudest records of the year. Some regard the likes of Sinatra as easy listening. Bands like Death Index are my kind of easy listening. Or maybe, uneasy listening. I don’t want music to make me feel comfortable. As someone who never has, and will never settle, Death Index are the perfect band for me. Again, like most bands I go on about they are one to really invest in seeing live. I’m pretty sure you’d leave with some kind of injury. Anything less than a bloody nose is poor.
Not many people know this but Italy does have an incredible music scene. I used to think it was just Litfiba but it really goes beyond that. A lot of Garage Rock bands have come from the most beautiful country in the world (yes I’m being biased but it’s still true) and there’s some excellent Punk bands from there also. Marco’s old band La Piovra were one of Italy’s finest, and it’s pretty obvious that Death Index are going to be equally as great, right? Of course, especially when it also involves the frontman of the brilliant Merchandise; Carson Cox.
Please don’t assume that this a straight-up Punk record. It really isn’t. It oozes destruction and it confronts the end of time/the ruin of human beings in such an unconventional manner that you cannot help but want to stick two fingers up to the world. By world, I probably mean Government because they’re the problem and they can’t find a solution. Their debut record holds a wealth of angst. When you mention angst to most they immediately think stroppy 13 year olds. Not with this record. This is for adults who have had enough and can see through all the corruption and bullshit in the world.
There are brilliant moments on the record where you feel like you’re watching a Thriller, and you imagine someone lurking in a dingy alleyway in Berlin on a damp and cold night, tossing their cigarette end onto the ground as they head into the night finding someone or something to hunt down. Maybe I’ve got it wrong or maybe my mind has ran off with the music again. All I know is that the lyrics, the music and the general atmosphere on this record is nothing short of perfect. I have no idea what anyone else thinks, but I know for me that this record has everything I want from music. It has lyrics that make you think, the music makes you want to throw your body into walls and flail limbs about beating off the sweat of others and it’s a moody record.
There are many things that make me proud to be Italian, and musicians like Marco fully justify it. Carson’s’ vocals have this soothing but real brutal tone to it. You get the urgency of the words straight away and you aren’t floating off to the beach in your mind. Far from it. You see the world in all its darkness, you see through people but you get on. If you fixate on the things that fuck you up and piss you off, you’ll never get out of your mind. Music frees you. Music like Death Index frees you.
I’ve been listening to the record a few times this evening, and I wish I could give you my favourite track but that’s impossible. Each song is a body of something truly marvellous, and I’m really excited to go see these guys in May here in London. As an extra special treat for us, King of the Guitar- Charlie from Crocodiles is joining them. It’s definitely going to be worth travelling south of the river for. I’m really into Patto Con Dio, and I think it’s because it’s just over 7 minutes and I’m a sucker for long songs especially when they’re as important as this one.
Some could regard this as downer of a record because of the topics it touches on but I don’t always want something that makes me feel like I’m escaping the world. This is a record to face the world and to face daily life. It’s a brutally honest record, and you can tell it comes from a place that most want to shy away from. Many have possibly tried to make something as honest and as raw as this, but the way in which Carson and Marco have done it makes you disregard previous efforts. Death Index is where it is at. For me I don’t see this regard as a downer at all. I want music that sparks something in my brain. I want to see different sides and I want to see how others view the world. I adore the frustration and urgency in this record. It has that raw sentiment to it that captures the essence of Punk. Punk means different things to different people, and Death Index expose it all in a way that cannot be shunned.
Play this loud. Deafen yourself. Take note of the lyrics and go to one of their shows.
Their self-titled debut is out this Friday via Deathwish.