Single Review: Deathray Trebuchay – Number 6
Artist: Deathray TrebuchayAuthor: Naomi McArdle When the world melts back to the singular supercontinent Pangea" the sound of grinding tectonic plates will be a welcome relief from the collisions and Samba"Punk"Jazz crashing of Deathray Trebuchay. Although a break from guitars is welcome" and brass instruments bring different twists of colour and depth with bright tones" [...]
Artist: Deathray Trebuchay
Author: Naomi McArdle
When the world melts back to the singular supercontinent Pangea" the sound of grinding tectonic plates will be a welcome relief from the collisions and Samba"Punk"Jazz crashing of Deathray Trebuchay. Although a break from guitars is welcome" and brass instruments bring different twists of colour and depth with bright tones" this London six"piece are a prime example of how different does not always equate to good.
Launching straight in to Number 6 with fairground vocals from composer Llewellyn ap Myrddin and a rhythmic tick"tock that warns noisy Armageddon lies ahead" the Balkan brass becomes overwhelming at 45 seconds" and trumpet" trombone and sax duly lash on for another three minutes. By the mid"way mark the circus tempo has changed to Radio City"style big band swirls" and then to samba theatrics" before a thankfully quieter gap gives a chance for Spencer Brown's bass to shine: there's no debating that these musicians are not skilled in playing their instruments" the many twists" turns and changes in tone are exactly as what you'd expect from Jazz and avant"garde Metal. Indeed" snippets and sections of separate instruments and changes in time signatures make bold impressive strokes" in particular a really tight 15"second section of trumpet/drums/bass near the end could really stand out well" except" it's swamped in a flourishing" annoying finish. You can tell Deathray Trebuchay are inspired by all"night trumpet marathons: it seems as though the headache created by Number 6 will never end.
B"side I'm Gonna Kick You Up The Ass is more of the same: inspired flashes of what could be. Individually" the components could lay decent frameworks for songs" if only the band would choose one direction to stick with. Lest I be damned for suggesting such sacrilege as sticking with one style" given it distinctly contravenes the loose ethic of avant"garde" it has to be said that they could make a brilliant Indie band. I'm Gonna Kick You Up The Ass begins with a catchy rhythm and keys before transforming into African beats" which really complements the trumpets in a strange 70s soundtrack"way. Then it's 40 odd seconds in and the whole brass section is back into the wailing game as the tempo pumps up into circus"nightmare mode again. Urgent" shouty vocals chime in at almost two minutes followed by a decent" ominous section in which the brass becomes muted. The whole experience of listening to Deathray Trebuchet is one of shut those fucking trumpets up". I wouldn't fault the talent of trumpeter Ryan Jacob but rather lead man Llewellyn ap Myrddian's hyperactive composition and lack of order in such a brash sonic assault.
Gypsy Folk has worked well for Gogol Bordello" who took accordion into the rock realm for successful tours and a mega"selling album" and certainly Deathray Trebuchay have buckets of the same energy and attitude. Apparently a high"octane six"piece who perform in skeleton suits with pirate"ship props" Deathray Trebuchay would have you believe they're the best thing to come from London since Beefeaters and Ravens. Except they're not.
They could be. My interest was piqued by the press"release's description of Punk and Death"Jazz infused with Balkan Brass as a lot of new developments in jazz recently have sounded great: from now"deceased Irish trio Simon and The Ghost's epic Fantomas"tinged songs "an album really should have seen the light of day" to Italian metallers Zu who released the astounding sax"heavy Carboniferous in early February to great acclaim.
While Deathray Trebuchay possess skill and imagination along with a burst of originality" there's simply too much going on in their songs" a relentless barrage of confusion thanks to instrumental oversaturation and absolutely no attempt at subtlety. Change is all well and good" and it's great to see a wider array of instruments making up lost ground" but in this case" it sounds as though four continents and fifty years of raucous" heady music have been compressed into one overwhelming single.
Drop"D rating: 5/10
Deathray Trebuchay " Number 6 single was released on 23 March 2009.