19 May 2022
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Dead Favours - Album Review: Riffing & Yelling

28 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

A few weeks ago Dead Favours released the single Move On and now they have released Side A of Riffing & Yelling, six songs determined to grab hold of your brain and never let go. When I reviewed the single, I attempted to describe it as possibly Kyuss mixed with Foo Fighters, My Chemical Romance, and The Darkness and here we have 22 minutes which makes me think that comparison still mostly holds true. The bass being driven by Alex Elvis (Skinny Hobos) switches between setting up a distinct melody line often far removed from the guitar, yet it can also be absolutely filthy dirty at times,  where it brings a real stoner feel into the songs which is amplified by the hard-hitting drumming of Charlie Smith.

Then over the top of that we have Kyle Wetton’s guitar who moves between influences by the likes of The Edge and Matthew Bellamy, while also bringing in elements of Ray Toro, often providing backdrop riffs that are on a totally different level to Alex. It is interesting that at times the bass is driving the melody more than the guitar, with the two musicians creating an incredibly interesting twin dynamic as they weave their musical threads apart and then together again. At the front we have Jared Wrennall (Steriogram), who moves in and out of falsetto with ease, as and when the need arises with an incredibly infectious voice. This combination of different styles and applications are then joined together with those vocals in songs that have massive hooks and are destined to be singalong anthems.

This is an album which has been meticulously arranged, so that at times there is a great deal of space with one or more instruments pulling out for a few bars, and at others it is all heads down and devil take the hindmost. Many musicians forget that an important aspect of the craft is not only the notes they play, but the ones they don’t, and this is something that Dead Favours really understand with very strong contrasts and dynamics. The result is something which is incredibly enjoyable to listen to  without ever getting boring, and is just plain fun, with little vignettes being thrown in (such as the vocals at the end of the title track) which really make the listener smile.

When asked about the album Jared said, “This album was written whilst going through a break-up. Though it’s kind of personal, it’s also on a level that many people will be able to relate to. It’s dark but it’s light, it’s sad but it’s happy. It’s an album I never thought I’d write, but I’m glad I did.” They may be only playing four dates on the tour to promote this but at least they are making it down to South Island and I am certainly looking forward to catching them in Christchurch next weekend. I am already looking forward to Side B of the album, which will be out later this year, and hopefully at that point they will make the decision to make it available on vinyl, as music this good deserves to be cherished. And played loud.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Dead Favours

Combining a mix of huge fuzzy and sometimes quirky riffs, groove-laden drums, beautiful falsetto vocals mixed with arena commanding screams and a level of songwriting that some say has been missing from rock for some time, Dead Favours have been quick to grab the attention of the New Zealand music scene and are going from strength to strength in a very short time.

Since their formation in early 2016, the band have released a string of singles, the most notable to date being Dig (produced by Shihad’s Tom Larkin), a riff-centric banger that quickly grabbed the attention of both audiences and radio programmers alike, spending an impressive 27 weeks in the charts. The success of this debut single lead to a nationwide tour alongside the already popular Skinny Hobos, Decades and Bakers Eddy which saw the band increase momentum and pick up an army of new fans all around the country.

The band quickly followed with the singles High Flying and Better The Weather (produced again by Tom Larkin) which has seen the band go on to be invited to perform at festivals such as Jim Beam Homegrown, Demon Energy Rock The Park and share the stage with international acts Royal Blood and Rise Against which was received with rave reviews;

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Dead Favours

Releases

Riffing & Yelling Side A
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Misbehaviour
Year: 2019
Type: Album
The Dead EP
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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