Ded Ringer — Ded End
((Not on label) , 2016, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2016-04-22
If the album title and cover isn’t a strong enough hint, maybe the closing track “So Long” is. One would be safe to assume that this is Ded Ringer’s swansong, after eight great releases, number nine appears to be the last. At least for the time being. The Bay Area trio of nearly twenty years didn’t just phone it in, though; this represents a year of work and may in fact be their finest release yet, with many memorable tunes that will send you right back to the days when rock music was the real deal, skilled players playing real instruments, compositions with melodic hooks that follow you around all day and night, expressive singing with emotion and grit. With Ded Ringer you’re in a time warp — bands just don’t make music quite like this anymore. One standout is the introspective slow burning lost love groove “Where Do We Go from Here,” a tune that shifts gears into a great chunky guitar rave-up midway through its eight minutes, dropping back to the slow groove again on the other side to close. Throughout, guitarist Bob Maddoux pushes some masterful tones, both in his support role as song-driver as well as in his blistering solos, while bassist Julio Garcia and drummer Steve Lafond support the effort with their muscular rhythms and grooves. Another standout is Lafond’s “Blues Man,” where the drummer sings lead and backing vocals and turns in some mighty bad-ass harmonica work, and Maddoux rips through one of the finest guitar solos on the disc. Catchy rhythms and hooks pervade the chugging rocker “Gimme Some” in a very faithful early 80s style that permeated MTV back in the day. Ded End marks an outstanding closing episode to a remarkable series. I’m gonna miss these guys.
Related artist(s): Ded Ringer
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