EP REVIEW: ‘Malfunction’ by Dead Posey

Dead Posey are one of those new bands that get the cynical side of an industry-accustomed brain ticking over at a rate of knots. This is a duo with only one EP so far, yet they’ve already been touted as a big new signing to Sumerian, as well as a live CV that’s already hit some notable milestones and a licensing deal for their song Don’t Stop The Devil that most bands would kill for, regardless of their size. It pretty much screams ‘industry plant’ right out of the gate, not to mention having it paired with a marketably rock ‘n’ roll image and a status as a married duo that looks to only further serve to goose up column inches that’ll most likely focus on everything but the music. That’s not to cast disparagement on Dead Posey right away, but having so much traction – artificial or not – only really matters if the output at the core is good. Thus, that shines a rather intense spotlight on Malfunction, the new EP that’s a built-in litmus test for whether or not Dead Posey’s momentum really is as mandated as it might appear on the surface.

And off the back this, while it can be easy to get that impression of a band fast-tracked into that lane before being properly seasoned for that bigger level, this is good enough. It’s carrying a lot of the same torches that The Pretty Reckless have held up to now, only Dead Posey do have a bit of a darker sonic range that can hit within the ranks of crossover industrial fare like some branches of Marilyn Manson’s work. That sort of meshing of influences is pretty cohesive as well, really only held back by the relative naivety of a new band who haven’t properly grown into themselves yet. As such, it does feel premature to elevate Dead Posey to the higher level that already seems to be cleared for them, but there’s no reason they couldn’t get there in the future seeing as they do produce some solid work on the whole.

If nothing else, Dead Posey have the foundations of a good hard rock band, and they’re already relatively efficient at blending that with an industrial pulse for a darker overall sound. As is the case with the vast majority of bands like this, Danyell Souza is the immediate focal point, the sort of vocalist who could do with tightening her delivery a bit to stop the rockstar snarls from feeling so erratic on every line, but she’s definitely got power and presence, and matched with a couple of genuinely terrific hooks on Head Of The Snake and Parasite already sees a pretty robust image beginning to form. That’s in no small part down to Tony F.’s instrumentation, where the clattering grind serves as the main source of edge atop guitars that honestly could do with being beefed up a bit more. Still, it does a lot for the creeping atmosphere of Parasite, and when the guitars do have more muscle it lends a stabbing riff to Holy Roller that is pretty impactful. And for what Dead Posey are trying to do here, namely not move too far outside of the more modern approximation of hedonistic rockstar swagger in the writing, it all connects together generally well as far as keeping inside of that range goes.

Even so, this is clearly ‘getting their feet on the ground situation’, as taking it out of that environment (or even placing it in comparison with some of the established names within it) reveal how much development there’s still left to do. The amount of caveats that comes even from the praise towards on Malfunction should be a pretty blaring sign of that, and while none of it holds them back too much, there’s not many areas where Dead Posey feel like they’ve completely struck something that can work for them, no questions asked. They still haven’t hit the best variation of their sound yet, as evidenced by the lumpy percussion on Bad Things that just isn’t any good, and when that occurs on an EP that’s only four songs long, it makes it rather blatant that there’s still work to be done, and that Dead Posey aren’t quite on the way to an early-career explosion in the way that’s been pegged for them.

Right now, it does feel like there’s a lot of work to do before that prime time slot can be effectively filled, but the temptation to be kinder to Dead Posey does prevent any chastising that too harsh, simply because there’s really no way they can live up to what’s already been stacked in their wake. They definitely still have time to grow into a better band, and getting down a handful of ideas on here that suggests they do have some kind of roadmap in mind is a good start, especially if they can reasonably stick to it. As for now, the potential is there and that can’t be taken away from them; it just all feels a bit too rough around the edges to fully get onboard with right now.

6/10

For fans of: The Pretty Reckless, Marilyn Manson, In This Moment
Words by Luke Nuttall

‘Malfunction’ by Dead Posey is released on 19th June on Sumerian Records.

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