Upon first listen, Death Index makes a huge impression, their swaggering, stoner-y, rockabilly infused noise punk paired vocally with a droning, deep voiced Ian Curtis-esque croon calls to mind some unholy spawn of Red Fang and Interpol. Digging deeper into the duo’s new self-titled debut LP on Deathwish though reveals many layers of unknown pleasures (pun intended?) beyond that initial awesomely incongruous surprise reaction.
True, DI has the biggest impact on minute long scorchers like opener “Fast Money Kill” and “Fuori Controllo” but mid-tempo fare like the haunting noise collage “Lost Bodies” and lead single stomper “Little N Pretty” belie the project’s origin as an aurally disparate supergroup of sorts between vocalist Carson Cox of celebrated indie pop darlings Merchandise and the multi instrumental mad science of Marco Rapisarda, best known for Italian old school hardcore outfit Sgurd. Death Index’s sonic stew had me instantly hooked, and though it may be initially off-putting to some listeners, I found Rapisarda’s buzzsaw riffage and primally urgent drums to fit perfectly with the detached nihilism in Cox’s infectious baritone.
Death Index are indicative of a growing trend of curious experimentation within heavy music that we have and will continue to be wholeheartedly supportive of, a’la Ghost’s Satan worshipping Sabbath meets BOC shtick and the black metal/shoegaze alchemy of Deafheaven. Turns out that gothic, dark wave-ish art pop and grungy lo-fi noise punk are two great tastes that go great together.
Death Index is out on February 26th.