This album is one of my all-time favorites, so I had to feature it in here. Headed by the influential Dinah Cancer, making a name for themselves once again with the newly released album “Pick Your Poison” which was released in August, this year. So they’re pretty much alive, once again. But I’m not here to talk about their latest album, I’m here to talk about one of my favorite albums. Namely their first album “Sleep In Safety” from 1983, but I’ve picked the re-mastered version from 1993 since it’s the one I’ve got in my hands right now. I like this album because it introduced me to the death-rock genre as a whole and they’ve had a huge influence on many bands that came out of L.A. at that time. Therefore, I have them to thank for making me discover other bands in the same genre. One of the significant differences between this band and other bands, is that they withheld the general rock-oriented sound and slowly but surely introduced the purveyor of the death-rock sound as it could sound back then and very much sound like in these days.
First song on the album “Insurance From God” is really intriguing with the organ-playing and the overall nocturnal goth sound that its got embellished on itself. I like how Dinah Cancers vocals sound like something in between a punk record, but still keeps the kind of high-pitch blended with low-pitch trademark that was and probably still is 45 Grave. The sound-scape of this song quickly shifts from a full frontal attack, to a more slow-paced and rock-oriented song focusing on solos and eager riffing, quickly jumping back to the wagon and introducing the fast-paced baseline groove, with a stickier sound of extremely nice drums and guitar-riffs. So, if this isn’t the epitome, I know what is.
The song “Evil” is really a tongue-in-cheek, almost sloppy song that attaches itself by force to my brain and ears. And it’s not sloppy in the way that anything is done completely without feeling, it’s just that its got that wonderful blase-sound. As if they don’t care anymore, they’ve had this evilness for too long. I also like how the music is a blend of horror-themed songs you could encounter in movies about vampires and other horror-flicks from way back. Third song “Party Time” reminds me very much of a death-rock version of the Joan Jett and The Blackhearts song “I Love Rock’n’Roll“, because it’s got everything that rock sounded like but it’s got an unconventional approach to it, blending both the classic rock sound and their own sound into a fabulous mix of the darkest things imaginable. Maybe I’m wrong about it, because they’re two separate songs, but I believe they’ve got the same spirit when it comes to rock and how it sounds. Now I must say that the fourth song on the album “Violent World” has an abysmal intro that frightens me in one sense and fascinates me in another. Unleashed is a punk beast with a cheeky synth waltzing with it, into a whirlwind of bats and brazen punk attitude. Another song that is very good on this album is the song “Phantoms“, which I believe is the epitome of the 45 Grave sound.
Here is where they sounded best, and this album is a great mark of their success when it comes to the musical aspect of it. Such a unique but overlooked band. Even though I like rock, I must say that I’m moved by the sound of death-rock at its earliest stage. I’m also thinking of checking out their latest album and reviewing it for everyone of you readers, so you know what you’re getting. You should get this album in any way you can, if possible, because it’s one hell of an album.