Dead Sea Effect
Those of Us About to Die Salute You
Dead Sea Effect is perhaps the contemporary audio equivalent of yesteryear's mail-art: two musicians whose aesthetic incorporates long-distance collaboration and communication. Here in Pittsburgh, musician and Trib scribe Justin Vellucci recorded percussion, bass and vocals; out in California, Peter C. Neusch recorded guitar and some vocals, and co-wrote with Vellucci the seven songs that make up their new album, Those of Us About to Die Salute You.
Over clanking, rattletrap grooves, Neusch's guitars alternate between rough-hewn chugga-chugga and spidery melodies reminiscent of Joy Division or Lovesick, as Vellucci declaims verses like "You can't ask them to see the man you've become when the job works you / Youth withers away, tie like a noose squeezing out the last gasp of air." (Just a hunch: Raid this man's bookshelves, and you'll surely find a collection of Henry Rollins paraphernalia.)
The seven-song disc also includes an instrumental track, "The Static Sea Matters Most." Featuring plenty of the titular static, it pairs a demonstration recording taken from an Edison phonographic wax cylinder with Marc Ribot-style guitar weirdness that eventually gives way to a grinding riff.
It's definitely an engaging listen, like distorted answering-machine messages left by a brainy man on the edge; a man who, in the midst of traffic in his "Battlefield I-5 North Commute" finally snapped. In other words, a great alternate soundtrack for the 1993 Michael Douglas vehicle Falling Down.