Self described as “weirdo pop music from Mississippi,” lo-fi scenester favorites Dead Gaze finally release their debut, a self-titled LP, after a slew of 7” and 10” releases. Those who are familiar with previous releases can rest assured that there are plenty of washed out Casio’s, blown out drums and underwater vox to quench your flannel thirst. So go ahead and strap on your jean-shorts and those half-wearable Toms, ’cause it’s Dead Gaze time.
“Remember What Brought Us Here” hits you like a whirlwind of late ’90s Canadian psych-folk, nu-gaze, and pretension. It has that all-too-familiar “everything’s gonna be alright” kind of vibe that schwag smoking teens will cream themselves for. R. Cole Furlow employs an onslaught of flea market synths, fuzz guitars and a fuckton of reverb to achieve an audible effect similar to that of Instagram. “You’ll Carry On Real Nice” follows with an eight-track Social Distortion feel and slightly aggro J Mascis vocals. Actually, imagine if Wayne Coyne and Gruff Rhys had a baby with minimal talent and an urge to flange out everything– that’s Dead Gaze. Want more out of tune guitars? No prob, cause “This Big World” comes in with plenty. Hey, while we’re at it, let’s just throw the ’90s in a blender and serve it up as “weirdo pop music from Mississippi.” Fuck it, right?
Lou Barlow b-side, “Future Loves and Sing Abouts” features washes of white noise, sputtery megaphone belching and, of course, porch chimes. Anyways, after some bad Cure covers and Jesus and Mary Chain demos, “I Found the Ending” offers something a bit more endearing for Dead Gaze’s first LP: RESTRAINT. Oh, wait, a song with no flange vox? Not lo-fi enough. Actually, fuck this song. Moving on…wait! More chimes? Jesus Christ, dude…come on…
Well…no surprises here. Down to the very end, Dead Gaze offers very little to fans of lo-fi, psych, folk, gaze, or anything under the indie-pop spectrum. It’s a contrived, forced, and desperate attempt at capturing the magic of an age that inspired our contemporary indie heroes. But who knows? Some people dig fake gold sunglasses and trap beats.