Garnering a reputation for rousing and rapturous live shows, UK rock band Deadletter erupts their career with debut EP Heat! Originating in Yorkshire by core members George Ullyott on bass, Alfie Husband on drums, and Zac Lawrence fronting, their music is equally ravishing and politically charged. Their most distinctive trait is how unabashedly self-aware they are of themselves, with Lawrence touching on contemporary topics as anarchic as the band’s post-punk brand. Now in a lineup expanded by new additions Poppy Richler on saxophone, alongside Will King and James Bates on guitar, the band proves they can capture the chaos of the modern world.
From the get-go, “Weights” is a ticking time bomb set off by a deadly saxophone and bass combination with a noticeable techno twinge. “Life imitates art, they say / In which case, art must be bitter dismay,” Lawrence warns when listing pandemic anxieties all too familiar to all of us. Not much is done to take the weight off the world’s shoulders as matters only escalate on “Madge’s Declaration,” which does nothing to sugarcoat the anti-materialism messaging. A lightning rod of a guitar gives the track a more than welcomed gothic undertone, not unlike something off early Bauhaus.
The lead single, “Binge,” dances through the fire while the chorus yells the song’s namesake like a chant on the street. It’s the kind of music that might make one dance like a hot potato, or if the EP cover is any indication, the burning of a forbidden fruit.
Unfortunately, there’s no competition: “Zeitgeist” pays off the build-up brewing throughout the EP in a cocktail explosion of a song. Every member of the band seems to be contributing without outshining the other, holding each other’s instruments in what might be the musical equivalent of a deadlock ending in a grandiose conclusion. “Blue is the color of the year,” according to Lawrence, but the EP is undeniably bloodshot red. The resulting product? A riot waiting to be incited.
Words: David Sosa
The band’s debut EP Heat! is now on all streaming services, available below.