Sydney four-piece DEN wield a significant sonic clout on their debut self-titled EP; a pummelling barrage of modulated guitars and sinister synth replete with melody that brings nuance to the bruising assault.
Life In Chains opens with a militant drum beat and from sparse beginnings builds to grandiosity with haunting keys and swirling synth surrounding the domineering vocals. Poltergeist is dark and menacing in demeanour, with buzzsaw guitars jarring against cathedral like keys.
The oddball ‘80s computer keyboard sounds on Inter-view could easily have appeared in a Devo number,but thestark spiky guitar riffs and unsettling organ maintain the bands malevolent character. Inertia is a slithering sneer of a song, unrelenting bass forming a rhythmic foundation that offsets the despondent bitter vocals.The EP closes with In The Stare, a rampant punk attack that defiantly trails off in minimalist manner with frantic keys.
DEN take the angst of the late ‘70s America synth punk movement and combine it with the darker leanings of British post punk. At times there are striking similarities to their contemporaries of the same ilk (Total Control and Lowlife), but these are fleeting flavours that by no means define or detract from the appeal of DEN’s debut.
By Krystal Maynard