Album Review: Dead Fame – Vicious Design EP

The very idea of their name is quite an interesting one. Think about it: Dead Fame. All things considered, fame is just another one of those things you won’t be taking with you when you’re gone and six feet under, though in some cases fame will certainly outlast a lifespan. For now, Dead Fame seems content to look for mortal love, and to my ears they’re more than ready for it.

Richmond serves as the band’s home base, though their sound isn’t what you might expect from the city that’s got more of a penchant for metal and quirky indie. Instead, Dead Fame defiantly waves the flag for brooding, black-clad Brit-inspired synthpop. Decadent yet deconstructed, it’s a style they wear incredibly well. Their newest effort, the Vicious Design EP, is a deliciously dark, seriously danceable assault on the senses. Titillating with their knob-twiddling and taut, spiky riffs, the band is anchored by pitch-perfect and somewhat theatrically crooning vocals.

Tearing myself away from listening to opening track “Joan Crawford” on repeat proved to be quite a struggle, so addictive is that menacingly honeyed two and a half minutes. As with most Dead Fame songs there’s an underlying sinister vibe, married here to something almost coquettish, resulting in a feeling akin to getting in over your head. And it’s something I can’t get enough of. Thankfully, the rest of the EP delivers some major goods. “My Body, My Fool” is so catchy it’s ridiculous, wiry and edgy and irresistible, while “Girl Undone” turns the screws so very prettily, dancing along in the gloom. “Lift” is another treat, dizzyingly rambunctious and threatening to “set this place on fire.”

These four songs would have been more than enough to make yours truly happy, but the band has included three remixes of “My Body, My Fool,” including an slinky, vaporous treatment by Xiu Xiu and a seriously club-ready interpretation courtesy of Nightstalker.

This is a band that’s looking like they mean business. I’d strongly advise you to keep an eye on Dead Fame.

[posted 4.2.14]


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