Monday, February 13, 2012

Death In Vegas

Way back in the very, very beginning of 2000, MTV2 actually played music and was playing every music video they had in alphabetical order.  This was quite the event for a list-maker and alphabetical marathon freak such as myself. (Take this damn blogue for example.)  So, of course, I tuned in for as much as I possibly could, and somewhere in the first day or so a song by Death In Vegas played.  I had never heard either the band nor the song "Aisha" but both the music and the video were kind of weird and intrigued me.


The next day, I went down to Tower Records (which also still existed) and bought their first two(2) albums.

The first album, Dead Elvis, holds the band's original name as the title.  Apparently, the Elvis Presley estate people weren't that thrilled about the band's first choice in name, so they respectfully changed it and used it as an album title instead.


The album has a much more reggae-inspired "British thug" trip-hop dub sound than anything that followed, but anyone familiar with Death In Vegas knows that their sounds change from album to album.  Samples and audio clips have been a mainstay in their music, but never as much as that first album.


The other album I picked up was The Contino Sessions, which had the first D.I.V. song I had heard, and began with what I still say is one of the most dissonant songs I've ever heard.


This second album was much heavier with actual instrumentation and vocals, instead of being quite so sample-ridden like the first... which made the album a bit more solid and less fragmented.  A few outside vocalists, like Iggy Pop and Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream, contributed vocals.

"Soul Auctioneer"

It wasn't until just after I started working at Best Buy in 2003 that I found out about their 2002 album Scorpio Rising.  Of all things Best Buy played on their store radio, Death In Vegas was the last thing I expected, but there it was.

"Hands Around My Throat"

Like the album before it, Scorpio Rising had some outside vocalists, like Liam Gallagher (yes, from Oasis) and Paul Weller who sounded very Joe Cocker-ish on a nice cover of The Byrds' Gene Clark.

"So You Say You Lost Your Baby"

And like before, I wasn't aware of the next album, Satan's Circus, until my 2005 trip to Japan... where I found a copy in the giant Virgin Records in Tokyo.  So, I picked it up, along with some Nilsson imports and a few rare Kylie Minogue albums (yes, I'm eclectic.) and gave it a listen.  It was... weird.  I fairly don't remember any real vocals on that album, and it was mostly just ambient beats & breaks.  They were clearly getting back in touch with their beginnings and isolating any fans who had hopped on for the rock songs.

"Heil Xanax"

Another album I picked up in Japan was their 2004 "best of" compilation called Milk It, which had a bonus disc of remixes, and then that was it for Death In Vegas...

Until last year, apparently.

While reading up on the band to write this blogue entry, I noticed that a new album called Trans-Love Energies had been released in September of last year.  So I postponed by blogue a bit, bought the album, listened, and now here we are.

"Your Loft My Acid"

The album is a nice return for a familiar sound, and I couldn't be happier to have a new album by D.I.V. after seven(7) years of figuring they were done for good.  While apparently one of the two(2) main guys in the group is out (either on good or bad terms, no one seems to know), it's definitely still the Death In Vegas I know and love.


Well, definitely one of the lesser-known bands in my collection and once again a favourite of mine, I can only hope that D.I.V. keeps pulling surprises out and releases many, many more albums over the years.

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