Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats have been around for around eight years now. Formed in Cambridge England and named quite brilliantly after a band that featured the late ex-Cactus singer Rusty Day from around 1980 or 81 called Uncle Acid And The Permanent Damage Band. There are elements of Cactus in what they do, a sludgy, fuzzy, dirty, sound especially bass wise and the fact the album sounds like it was recorded around 1969 when that band recorded their first album. Finding out about this tie-in with Cactus certainly piqued my interest in hearing the Deadbeats.
The album Vol 1 is a re-recording or remastering of the first recordings they made. The songs were sold to a few people on CDR when they made it. Very few fans had a proper copy of the music. After a long delay, the band or at least Kevin Starrs the only original member but founder of the band has recreated it as he has full control over it. This means it apparently sounds about as low-fi as it was in the first place!
As for the music, it veers around a little from almost punky in attitude and style to psychedelic workouts. At one moment there is bits that can sound like Black Sabbath or the Stooges, then The Doors and even Queens Of The Stone Age!
The opener, “Crystal Spiders”, could be described as Alice Cooper playing The Beatles whilst on hallucinogens. Oh, with a riff that at one point that has a whiff of “Joker And The Thief” by Wolfmother. At times it is almost fun to spot the influences. This is not to say that they are or were on these early tracks copyists, rather they were creating something that is the sum of the parts.
Possibly my favourite track is “Witches Garden” which is slow and heavy, a vibe of very early Sabbath before hitting a section that does find me almost singing the lyrics to “Locomotive Breath” by Jethro Tull (never a bad thing in my opinion) before coming more up to date with a riff that a band like Queens Of The Stone Age would come up with. I love the way the organ comes into this as well.
The eight-minute or so epic that is “Lonely And Strange” opens like The Doors playing for a carnival ride before the guitars come in. A fairly atmospheric piece that would fit into a horror movie quite easily. There is some nice guitar soloing on this before a gentle ending.
“Wind Up Toys” is another lengthy track with a very long guitar solo. The sort of thing that is best enjoyed laid back with headphones on, drinking a beer. It finishes with the sound of a child’s wind up toy. Just in case you had forgotten what the song was called.
“I Don’t Know” does remind me of Big Elf at points. In fact, there hints of them at different points. But then again both bands probably take from similar sources music wise or era wise.
For a band I knew nothing much about I am glad to have heard the album. Whether this is the best place to start for anyone interested in checking them out is a moot point. If someone is a fan already this is a must buy as it shows their roots. Anyone who is happy at hearing very fuzzy low-fi music then this again is something that will be to their taste.
I liked it and it has made me check out later material. I think for Uncle Acid job is done!