Exposé Online banner

The Fierce and the Dead — Spooky Action
(Bad Elephant, 2013, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2014-03-09

Spooky Action Cover art"Majestic." Now there's an adjective you don't see applied much to music in the last few decades, especially not any music that derives in anyway from an aesthetic of noise or punk. But it is a word that came to mind more than once as I listened to The Fierce and the Dead. There is an architectural majesty to the way they build their music up from a foundation of repeating patterns (often in odd meters), over-driven bass, and drums that tie it together. Other bands have discovered that heavily distorted sounds can be beautiful, but this band does it in a different way, layering it over mathy underpinnings in a manner that really works. Spooky Action is an example of the kind of beauty that is not delicate and quiet, but massive and even frightening — a wind-blown mountain, not a butterfly or a flower. All of which is not to say that the album lacks delicacy: halfway through, they provide us with an intermission of ambient textures, and many of the pieces have sections with a lighter touch, where the bass is less fuzzed-out and the guitars take on clean, ringing tones. In addition to the band's standard two guitars, bass, and drums, guests provide brass and cello on a few tracks. Their sense of dynamics provides a real drama that ebbs and flows as the tracks develop. TFATD is an outstanding entry into the fields of math-, post-, and prog- rock, well worth checking out and worthy of attention outside their native England.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): The Fierce and the Dead

Latest news

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Outer Limits - Misty Moon – Musea continues to unearth the most unknown and rare albums from the annals of obscure progrock history. Outer Limits were a pretty original Japanese band from one of the darkest times in prog...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues