The Dread

The Plastination Of Otis T Fernbank remains a singularly remarkable achievement, deftly navigating a path between experimental noise, field recordings and chunky, tuneful grooves. The mix of melodic writing and experimental sounds reminds me a bit of classic Emit Records.

artist:
The Dread

country of origin:
UK

style(s):
Electronica, experimental, fourth world, post-rock, dark ambient

decades active:
2010's

essential releases:

  • The Plastination of Otis T Fernbank (2015, thedreadband.com)

Reviewed by Mike G

The Dread is UK artist Evil Mark II, who underground electronica aficionados may also know as Cybernaut, D.E.D. or Loft 55. The Dread's 2015 debut album The Plastination Of Otis T Fernbank remains a singularly remarkable achievement, deftly navigating a path between experimental noise, field recordings and chunky, tuneful grooves. The mix of melodic writing and experimental sounds reminds me a bit of classic Emit Records. The disparate elements merge brilliantly: slide guitars and fiddles a with an unmistakable Delta blues twang, rich drones with gravelly textures, some rock-inflected grooves, noise and feedback, and lots of spectral ambience.

Also sprinkled throughout the album are puzzling samples of heavily accented Southerners sounding off about whiskey, church-going daddies and the mystique of fiddle playing, as well as other random voicebytes that are harder to make out. From the album notes: “For most of us, death is the end. For Otis T Fernbank, that is not the case. Includes exclusive mini graphic novel which reveals Otis' incredible journey.” Except I've never seen the graphic novel because I didn’t buy this on vinyl. So who Otis is, and what his journey is about, remains largely a mystery to this listener. All in all The Plastination Of Otis T Fernbank is a compelling, accessible and wonderfully strange piece of work - hard to describe but quite easy to love. 

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