Terra and the Dactyls has been active in New York City for just over a year. Despite being a relatively new band, they have gained notoriety playing shows all over the city, including a benefit that raised $6,000 for charities aiding women. The band released Dead Sister their first EP in May of 2018 with plans to write and record more following their recent tour of the American midwest. Dead Sister is an espresso shot packed with explosive energy and musicianship, showcasing the talent of the individuals alongside the chemistry of the band as a whole.
“Deadman’s Clothes” feels like a carnival attended by classic Hollywood monsters. Dracula, Frankenstein, Nosferatu and the zombies from Night of the Living Dead wait in line to ride the tilt-a-whirl. I had this thought when I heard the organ that opens the song. It takes off into a frenzy of bounding chords and falling notes with a driven and biting tone. It makes other appearances in the song, between the verses that are populated with bendy guitar accents and cascading drum rolls. The vocals slice through this foundation like a knife, deliberately and cleanly, cutting right down to the raw nerves of the listener.
“Sister City” runs longer than the other songs. The different sections are exciting through transition, and each individual section includes moments of wonder. The feeling of the song transforms alongside these changes, taking the listener on a ride for the long haul. Despite its just over six-minute running time, the song feels shorter because of the changes. No matter where the song goes, it always feels like it ends preemptively. It is highly addictive, and a showcase of the skill and vision of the band as a whole.
Before even listening to the music, I was immediately grabbed by Dead Sister’s album cover. Brilliant color, a cool band logo and a haunting picture. I was also excited by the name of the band, Terra and the Dactyls. The content of the album brought that excitement to another level. Exploding out of the gate, Terra and the Dactyls wasted no time in taking me for a ride through the album. It ended too quickly, a second listen was needed less than ten seconds after the last song ended. It is hard to sum the entire thing up in just one sentence because there are many different angles that the energy comes from. An excellent effort, I can say with certainty that I will be anticipating their next release.
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