Ten Albums of 2019 Recommended – No. 8

Dead Feathers – All is Lost


Generic Accolade

When I say ‘generic’ I do not do so disparagingly: I have, for example, written about the ‘pleasingly generic’ songwriting of Baby Rose because her music is R&B and thus its generic R&B sound is tin-written; therefore, in stressing how the psychedelic rock of Dead Feathers is heavily generic I am endorsing it, the adjectival qualifier, as with my other example, the obvious signpost, albeit here also a pun.

So the wah-wah and pounding bass and thundering drums and riffs from this fine band on this fine album come as expected and wholly welcome: there are many such bands these days presenting this generic retro-rock, psychedelic-wise in this case, and that too is all good to these ears. And before writing this review I have read a few others – essentially looking for images to appropriate, as they have – and these too cite the generic qualities, though tending to do so with precise references to precursor sounds, as I often do, and a regular I have noted is Black Sabbath – a consistent forerunner to mention when writing about any of this kind of music –  and also, in at least one, Fairport Convention, which is odd to me on the one hand, but not on the other because when first listening to opening track At the Edge [and I don’t think it is the word ‘Edge’ that has prompted this touchstone citation] I immediately thought of the vocal of Sandy Denny. In the band’s centrepiece of Marissa Allen, Dead Feathers have a singer of beautiful clarity as well as the rock-power to compare with any of the best you can think of and might want to mention, another review actually naming Grace Slick which I wouldn’t argue against.


I know – just felt like writing a little more than cutting to the chase of how this album’s exceptional quality is the vocal of Marissa Allen. That the rest of Dead Feather’s Chicago rockers play a powerfully generic support and platform for this potent voice is, however, firmly celebrated by the other function of that long preamble in making it clear what I mean by ‘generic’.


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