Dancey, driving deathrock band Deth Crux from LA have finally released their long-awaited full length debut album, Mutant Flesh! This is more than just a follow up to their 4-track EP from three years ago – it’s a unique form of deathrock as badass as you always wanted it to be. It satisfies every spooky itch you’ve got.
“Phantom Blood” opens the album with a fast paced, primal deathrock sound leaning on the punk side of things with creeping guitar, tribal drums, and dancey synth. Deep, vampiric vocals cry echo melodically along this unique darkwave mish-mash. “Spectral Other” is full of 80s synthy goodness over a brooding punk atmosphere. The lyrics are incredible. I’m strongly reminded of Bauhaus with this track.
As Mutant Flesh continues, I’m noticing a particular 80s retrowave influence, especially with the intro to “Black Abominable Lust.” At first this one feels almost more pop than the other songs, but it morphs into an extremely dancey deathrock song you can’t help but move to. “Chrome Lips” launches straight into those Peter Steele-esque vocals. In fact this might be the most lyrically driven song on Mutant Flesh. As the song continues there’s a beautiful saxophone line that fits in nicely. At this point their range is obvious.
“Mutant Flesh” for which the album is titled is another fast paced, punk number that really demonstrates the badassery Deth Crux is known for. This is among some of my favorite lyrics on the album and it finishes out very nicely with a long dancey interlude. “Xenophilia” opens with a sick guitar line and a truly gothic atmosphere. This is one of my favorite songs on Mutant Flesh because it takes traditional deathrock and puts a modern spin on it. The vocals are incredible here.
“Lycanthropic Prostitution” is a delightfully spooky dance number that wavers from deathrock-darkwave hybrid to romantic shoegaze. Dark, visually appetizing lyrics and catchy guitar lines wrap the song up in a cobweb bow– easily one of the strongest songs on the record. “Persephone Is Half Human” opens with a doomy bass line and classic 80s synth, paired nicely with his deep crooning voice.
“Exploited Apparition” almost feels like a modern twist on Christian Death, it’s a very classic deathrock feel while keeping things fresh. As with the rest of the songs on Mutant Flesh, the lyrics are about death and it’s pulled off in a catchy way without too much cheese– it’s all very satisfying. The LP finishes out with “Yellow Sky”, my personal favorite track on the album despite it not being quite as dancey as the rest. It’s a bit slower, but it has all of my favorite elements: experimental sounds, heavy reverb, saxophone, and an overall spooky post-punk vibe. I think it’s the mesmerizing saxophone line that kills me.