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A Magazine for Sheffield

Pet Deaths to the top of the hill and roll...

to the top of the hill and roll...
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The overwhelming sensation pulsing through your veins after listening to Pet Deaths' debut, to the top of the hill and roll, is melancholy. Glacial songs inhabit the mound where Pet Deaths carved their abode. The bitter wind drones on as your body temperature subtly drops. Can you hear the wind chanting an upbeat lamentation?

Liam Karima's gleaming vocals intertwine with an atmosphere concatenated with guitars, field recordings and sparse keyboards. The thunderclap that disrupts the solemn atmosphere never quite happens, but you feel a distant rumble shaking the ground. The storm is near and you brace yourself for it.

Mix equal parts Radiohead at their dreamiest and Nick Drake sensibilities and the results include monumental tracks like 'At the bottom of the hill' and 'Did you lose your silver mind in Nevada'. Imagine an abandoned bingo hall, still resonating with old 50's tunes, slowed by the winds of town, and you'll understand what Pet Deaths are conveying with 'If only bad things could happen'.

The intensity of this album comes from how low-key it insists on being while drip feeding you with small bursts of energy. An odd bit of percussion here and there, the pulsing drums on 'Meet me at the avalanche' - they all lead to an emotional punch that never lands. It doesn't need to. The mark has already been made.

Sam Valdés López

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