7 Aug 2020
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Dead Kid Harvester - Album Review: The First Sign Of Madness

04 Jun 2018 // A review by Paul Goddard
I knew this wasn't going to be an easy listen. With a moniker like Dead Kid Harvester and song titles like Scab Made Out Of Faeces, Paul Harvey isn't aiming for middle of the road chart-bothering, but I love music of all extremes and we all need to be challenged.

Music is defined as "vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony and expression of emotion" So DKH doesn't make music!

The Sonics for each of the 13 tracks are created using kitchen utensils and random household objects and occasionally this is interspersed with vocals that sometimes sound like they are also coming out of a coffee machine. It is kind of hard to convey so the best way I know is to try and explain how listening to this made me feel.

I ran the full gauntlet of emotions during the first track Radiation. Uncomfortable would be the first feeling that comes to mind, bemused, then slightly disturbed, then ultimately bored. Yep, all that in the first few minutes. I am all for experimentation but ultimately it still needs to connect and whilst the sounds created by DKH would be great as a soundtrack for a horror movie there just isn't enough energy or life in them to fully engage the listener.

Remember when you were a kid and your first drum kit was a set of pots and pans. DKH has captured that childish abandon but also seems to have abandoned all hope of taking the experiment any further. I was expecting the sounds created to be put through a blender (excuse the pun) and come out the other end sounding like something completely unworldly but what we actually get here is 13 tracks that do sound just like a 5-year-old banging on pots and pans.

I might be wrong, but I honestly don't think anyone would play this CD through more than once. I was driving whilst listening and I must admit one strange effect was I lost my sense of time. Maybe it should come with a warning not to play while driving but it did make the Auckland traffic jam seem a little shorter.

I am sure DKH doesn't give a s**t about what I or anyone else thinks about his art and why should he? This is art more than music and there is always room for this. Everyone should listen to First Signs Of Madness at least once but if ever he does want to reach a wider audience he should just repackage this album as a game. Great fun after a few beers playing "name that kitchen utensil", it kept me and my mate busy as we sat watching all the other Auckland commuters staring down at their phones while crawling along the Auckland SH1 car park.


Review written by Paul Goddard
 

About Dead Kid Harvester

Dead Kid Harvester is a solo avant-garde/experimental/noise artist with a complete disregard for any form of music convention such as harmony or tempo. The primary instruments used are vocals and kitchen utensils. The life of a song typically begins with the lyrics, written with no consideration for rhythm or beat. Dead Kid Harvester takes influences ranging from doom metal to drone, industrial and old school punk, and polarizes them into an industrial cacophony of noise. Recorded samples and segments are combined haphazardly into songs, with frequent use of pitch shift and time stretch effects.

Dead Kid Harvester was formed in Porirua, New Zealand in December 2000, later moving to Auckland. The name Dead Kid Harvester is a combination of two nicknames acquired at high school, and is no less off-putting than the music itself. The preferred lyrical themes are insanity, horror and philosophy. Dead Kid Harvester makes use of both jarring and subtle variations between channels to invoke uneasiness and disarray.

In 2018, after nearly ten years of recording and procrastination, the debut full-length album The First Sign Of Madness was finally completed.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Dead Kid Harvester

Releases

The First Sign of Madness
Year: 2018
Type: Album

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