By Estella Rosa
I have to be honest : I think Dead Mellotron are an amazing Shoegaze band. They put down a sound so ethereal and reverberating that they have the exalting, all- encompassing quality of Slowdive but in a lighter mood.
Unfortunately, front man and multi-instrumental wizard Josh Frazier’s interest in the project is waning. Since Sonic Cathedral were too busy to release it within the desired timeframe, Winter 2014 was self-released and made available for download on Bandcamp, but that was about it. According to Josh, it will probably be the last thing they will ever release : this is sad news, but it is how it is. Despite the booming Shoegaze revival in 2014/2015 a project or band naturally survives as long as you “ feel the love” so to speak. You basically continuously have to shout your name on all media and push your music to the front until people can’t get around it. Alas, not every artist has the nature of a PR predator.
Despite the fact that it has just turned Spring now, I would still like to draw some attention to the beauty that is Winter 2014. It simply is too precious and too good to be ignored or forgotten:
The opening track is simply called “Intro” but to describe it, words fall short. It was the first track I ever heard by Dead Mellotron and instantly got me hooked forever. “Intro” makes you feel like falling into the sky and gives you that warm feeling you get on a cold, wintry day when the air is thin and the landscape looks otherworldly. “Intro” slides down snowy slopes and culminates into an avalanche of feedback and then screeches to a halt.
We wake up with “ Totaled” and find ourselves in an ( Stereolab/ drone – ish) uptempo road movie where pale shimmering images pass us by on the way to an unknown destination.
We arrive at a place “All Gray” yet euphoric. Crisp, jangly guitars , languid faraway vocals , emphatic drums beautifully blend an come together at this terminal in heaven. Time to throw those snowballs!
In “ Who Else” we put our feet up and drowse away in front of the roaring chorus fire, just before the “Sleepover” which is Dead Mellotron as dreamy as ever : slow strumming guitars, synths like lulling bells and echoing vocals that entrance and fade more and more into the background as the guitars gradually take over and it all swirls into sweet nothingness like images into the past. I do hope sincerely that this doesn’t apply to Dead Mellotron…otherwise we have to wait patiently for Josh Frazier’s next project.
What did he say? “Wanna start a 60’s girl group, but it is 2015 and I’m a boy?”
Estella Rosa is a true Amsterdammer, first hour Shoegazer and founder of the Facebook group Shoegaze On.