Creatively walking multiple lines between raw indie rock and dreamlike shoe-gaze or grunge, James Dean Death Machine presents a notably live sound on this album Leave a Pretty Corpse – inviting the listener to stand front and centre as this rain of bass-lines, beats and vocal grit pours down before them.
L.A. kicks the project off and introduces the JDDM sound – for those who are new to it – in a bold and memorable way. There’s a very real and somewhat edgy presentation style to the music, which actually helps reinforce the realness that seems to roam free within the lyrics. On top of this, the song itself has been written with a few cleverly memorable elements – the hook in particular, that instance in which the title is mentioned; it’s simple yet melodic enough to really make-sure you notice it. Elsewhere this rising and falling guitar riff adds further character, as does the meandering and energetic bass-line.
As the track progresses, you gather an understanding of the artist’s sound and indeed the way he sets up his songs. Things move from near-delicacy to hard-rock within a few short minutes, and this tends to be the way it goes throughout the rest of the album. Genre is not a thing that requires a single label anymore – nor could it really be attempted in this case. As the playlist goes on, expect plenty of melody and truthfulness, as well as a series of songs that follow their own rules – structurally, and in terms of the overall care-free authentic rock sound.
Something Great makes for an appealing follow-up to the opener, bringing in an unexpected hint of Beach Boys and an enjoyably optimistic vibe. The songwriting is where things shine with originality – undoubtedly a live show would really let this quality come alive.