This Dead Boy Robotics article was written by Kellie Shearer, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zara Heath. Header image by Jakub Iwanicki.
‘New Cells’ is the powerful follow up album to Dead Boy Robotics self-titled debut. The Edinburgh alternative/dark pop band’s first album was released in 2011, giving the band four years to hit the studio and craft, for their fans, a new wave masterpiece. So did they succeed?
Yes, yes they did. ‘New Cells’ grabs your attention from the very first track and refuses to let it go. The dark ethereal vocals of singer Mike Bryant are reminiscent of Sigur Ros and from this point on Dead Boy Robotics could do no wrong.
How does it compare to the self-titled album, ‘Dead Boy Robotics’? The most notable difference between the two albums is the toned down synth in ‘New Cells’. ‘Dead Boy Robotics’ is a very synth driven album where as ‘New Cells’ is heavily vocal driven, with gritty bass lines and screeching guitars. A change that would normally turn away fans of the genre, however Dead Boy Robotics pull off the transformation fluidly drawing no attention to the change. The dark pulsating synthesizers are still very much present in ‘New Cells,’ but they’re no longer the driving force behind the album.
‘New Cells’ grabs the attention of the listener by the neck and refuses to let go from the first track and tightens it through the next ten tracks. With stand out tracks ‘Arrival’, ‘Echo’ and ‘Halos’, all of which wouldn’t be out of place as Radio 1’s track of the week, ‘New Cell’s has the potential to reach a whole new audience all while satisfying it’s already hooked fans. Dead Boy Robotics have nailed their easily recognizable style, which is crucial in today’s music factory where it’s too easy for small bands to blend into their genre.
The band’s distinctive, murky vocal style may take center stage for most of the album but at times it can become overwhelming. The layers of reverb dripping off of the vocals create a signature hazy vocal style for the band, but it also distracts from the lyrical content of their tracks, sometimes even making it impossible to make them out.
‘New Cells’ is the perfect album for fans of post-rock artist 65 Days Of Static and Krobak, definitely worth a listen for fans of Sigur Ros, and definitely deserves a whole lot of radio time.