With a band name like Dead Disco, you can almost predict the music that
will follow. Synths? Check. New wave stylings? Check. Prevailing mood of
angst and hopelessness? Check. But before you sigh and condemn this band to
the post-punk, post-rock, art-punk, disco-punk, art-pop (or whatever is
indeed the latest trend these days) dungeon, I command thee to halt and
consider City Place as evidence for the defence! This, quite simply, is excellent.
Dead Disco are a three-girl, one-guy quartet (the male is the drummer,
somewhat predictably) from Leeds attracting a fair amount of media attention
from the likes of NME and the painfully cool i-D. City Place begins with a
tantalising, bubbling synth effect over energetic new wave drums which set
the tone for the slice of moody electro-pop that is to follow. It sounds,
throughout, like a darker Human League, with more venom and
bitterness than Phil Oakey's mob.
Victoria Hesketh's vocals alternate between Blondie's Deborah
Harry (particularly on the breakdown at just over the minute mark) and
Berlin's Teri Nunn. Indeed, the whole project sounds a lot like early
Berlin (who were a spectacularly filthy synth-rock act before they
ventured into soft rock with Take My Breath Away, don't you know). Dead
Disco manage to capture the wonderful pop sensibility of both Blondie and
Berlin and this marks them as an act to keep your beady little eyes on in
the coming years. The lesson: never judge a band by its name alone.