Alastair J. Chivers, of Battery Face, solo project/band DTHPDL has released a fabulous five track EP in The Future.
DTHPDL (Deathpodal) started as a solo project for Chivers, his first release, Exu__Wow, featured friends on the recordings (Copy Haho (RIP/GBNF), Battery Face / PVH / Yawns) and this time Chivers’ band is made up of his friends D. MacDonald, Humdrum Jetset and Ross Taylor.
The Future, released by Lord of Leith Song, by Toad, marks what feels like a first proper release for the DTHPDL name.
I asked Chivers why did the Lord of Leith approached him for a release:
“We sent a demo to Matthew a while back and he really liked it.
“Song, by Toad had a couple of wee festivals coming up last year and he ended up asking us to play both which was fun, so it seemed like a natural thing to ask him to put out the release.
“Maybe it’s Matthew’s good looks and public brawling that influenced us as well.
“The EP itself was recorded at Slate Room Studios by Garry Boyle; I’d worked with Garry before when putting together the Cider Says single with Battery Face.
“Garry’s very easy to get along with, he’s all about the feel of a song, which also helps when you’re on a budget and time is short.
The tracks present a saner version of the sounds Chivers explored with Battery Face a few years back (their releases are certainly worth a listen).
The 1990s as always, are in the DNA of Chivers, his crew and ex crew, however this isn’t the slacker sound (gawd I hate that term) that has reached saturation point.
The mechanical tones and crooning on the opening title track provide an accurate representation of the palette being employed.
Though the crooning is more in the Angus Andrew style of droning approach crooning rather than a Morrissey, the guitar lines and layers lie more in the early post rock sounds of late 80s / early 90s American indie.
Asking what type of EP he was trying to make with ‘The Future’, Chivers responds: “Well, as I say, something different from before, personally.
“I listen to songs like Sean Nicolas Savage’s ‘You Changed Me’ or Richard Dawson’s ‘The Vile Stuff’ or Liars’ ‘No. 1 Against The Rush’, these are power tracks to me.
“I wanted to give hope with a song or release; where it had an affect like songs have over me.
“I basically wanted to write a release about hope; I wanted to have something more than a lot of music which is seen as cool.
“I don’t care about looking good, I just wanted to put myself across accurately and if people find something in that then I’d be ecstatic.”
This sense is really pulled off on ‘Good Vs. Evil’, the layers of melody and mixed well to respond to the open sound of the acoustic and air captured by the other instrumentation.
A healthy mix of fuzz bass, delayed guitars, synth tones, piano and drums all push the track into an optimistic crescendo.
Likewise the Purdie shuffle middle section of ‘Summer’ continues this theme of sunshine behind over cast clouds.
It maybe this sense of positive approach that makes DTHPDL’s EP standout from the normally darker material that results from this range of instrumentation.
Good reports from the tapes’ sold out launch last week in Edinburgh reinforces that Glasgow next show with label mates Le Thug, who don’t sound a million miles away from DTHPDL, shouldn’t be missed.
Words: Stephen Brooks