There’s a distinct vibe here. One that causes you to close your eyes and let the music just wash over you. Slowly bobbing your head until it just rolls in lazy, dotted half note style, three hundred and sixty degree circles. It’s encapsulating. Addictive. The type of music that you attempt to crawl inside. Music so intriguing that you want more. Clawing at your own skin to try and get closer to the luscious liquid pouring forth from the speakers. Dead Register is absolutely intoxicating. So why not get drunk on their vibe?
Dark, moody, nuanced, gothic, etc. All words that can be thrown around when describing Dead Register’s sound. But over all that, what certainly stands out, is the vocal work of bassist M. Chvasta. While he may not knock your socks off with his range, his ability to land precisely on a note and then waiver, trill and descend into lachrymose melodies is on par with Paul Bank of Interpol or even Irene Barber of Dust Moth. The atmospheric, mostly tenor, tonality of his voice is clear, lush and engulfing.
Originally released on CD and digital formats back in May 2016, Fiber has largely swam under the radar, which is almost criminal for a band of this level of talent and intrigue. Tracks like “Drawing Down” show a band adept at atmosphere through the work of Avril Che (who just so happens to be the other half of M. Chvasta) who handles flourishes, bleeps and keyboard work across the album. More halting than their other tracks, “Drawing Down” also pays dividends in the release of tension and the ability to simply lull you into a false sense of security as layers upon layers of atmospheric touches and cyclical rhythms wash over your soul.
Alternately, ”Entwined” is a composition built on crescendos. Always increasing the tension supported by danceable yet dark rhythms. The open is a swirl of harmonies and staccato rhythms, giving way to the more ocean-like vastness of their standard compositional format. Almost impossible to tell where instruments end and humans begin, the track gyrates on and upward pouring out of a murky fog with unabashed sex appeal.
As the album rolls leisurely to its inevitable conclusion, “Incendiary” shows the most thrilling vocal performance on the album. It’s here that M. Chvasta opens up the higher end of his vocal range and belts our sorrowful, bleating tones that will eventually be harmonized by the soft talent of Avril Che. Further, “Incendiary” has some of the more churning guitar patterns played over open cymbals and thunderous snare/tom hits. It may be a subtle change in the vibe, maybe a polka dot on the pattern of Dead Register, but it’s a truly melancholy experience.
Fiber is something of an opioid. Releasing all your pain and slowly lulling you into the submission of complete relaxation and utter sublime pleasure. Like shooting heroin into the veins underneath your fingernails, Dead Register invites you inside, strips your clothes off and lays you down upon their leather couch. The music is, in that way, therapeutic. It’s not to suggest that you don’t want a glass of red wine while listening, that can certainly enhance the experience, but Fiber is something special, something akin to the drug of life. An exciting and blanketing experience that will leave you clicking the “repeat” button on your player and nodding off to their dulcet vibe.