Published June 15, 2011
If Two Step Horror is all about sex/David Lynch, then Dead Skeletons are all death/Jim Jarmusch. The creation of Henrik ‘Singapore Sling’ Björnsson and Jón Sæmundur (aka artist Nonni Dead), their album ‘Dead Magick I & II’ is the latest in the psych rock continuum that started with the Velvet Underground/13th Floor Elevators, passing through Spacemen 3 / The Black Angels / Brian Jonestown Massacre. They’ve also shovelled on a heap of eastern mysticism and sounds to the point it literally creaks from the weight of the symbolism.
The first and third section of the album is rather enjoyable. ‘Dead Mantra’ is a gleeful realisation of The Crystals performing a sky burial on Iggy Pop, while ‘Dead Magick II’ is a beautiful coda of nature sounds with booming Tibetan trumpets. However it sags badly in the middle, with tracks such as ‘Dead Magic I’ not making the cut, while lines like “Come to my world of death” (on ‘Psychodead´), are mumbled with a real lack of conviction. Also, at nearly an hour and 15 minutes long, it make the likes of Agent Fresco’s album feel like The Minutemen’s ‘Paranoid Time EP’.
More on the Vebeth collective:
Two Step Horror: Living Room Music