The Wicked – Never Trust The Dead (2013)

the wicked

Here is an album from Boston rock/goth chick Janele Arlene a.k.a. Janele Mystique a.k.a. The Wicked.  It is a creepy, haunting collection of tracks that are full of feeling and dirt!

Its opener is ‘Overture’, a dark and dirty one minute prelude to the album.  Haunting music with hints of something from Queens of The Stone Age or Muse leads to filthy sounding driven vocals wailing into the darkness!

‘Time to Kill’ sounds like a little ditty being played on an old gramophone, until things kick in and it develops into a really catchy tune building into a strong chorus.

The intro to ‘Blue’ encompasses nice bass guitar/piano/xylophone work, drawing you in to the musical talent that is The Wicked.  The lyrics are clever and the vocal harmonies well-constructed.

One of my favourite tracks is ‘Funeral Etiquette’.  Its theatrical and circus-y nature reminds me of a band I once saw called Callatrilloz. Burlesque-y and catchy with guitar parts reminiscent of Muse.

Influences from No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani are noticeable within the vocal of ‘Nightmares’; and that is not to say they are copycat but a positive compliment to the vocal styling of this artist.  Dark and dirty Queens of The Stone Age style guitar sounds echo through with punch and fire.

“Yee haw!! Time for a hoe down!!”, or at least that was my initial feeling when ‘Bad’ kicked off!  A really good song creating images of a modern circus-horror amalgamation with big gowns, hats and guns.

‘Elevator’ builds into an epic sounding song with chugging guitars, synthesised horns and gritty vocal effects all layering together beautifully.

A musically Muse-esque creation in ‘Little Ghost’ is dark, fast and catchy.  This is followed by a toe tapping, knee slapping performance in ‘The Disease’ with its half paced chorus and early No Doubt influenced vocals.

The album is concluded with the hauntingly beautiful ‘Granny’s House’ with references to the fable of Little Red Riding Hood.  This twisting dark song is beautiful and terrifying all at once.

Never Trust The Dead is a fantastic album, weaving in and out of your senses, teasing with influences from many bands and artists.  It is well written and well recorded.  I was not too sure what to expect from this as I could not find much information on the band, but I was pleasantly surprised and the album is now on my phone for future referencing and continued listening!  A dark, haunting and well-played but sometimes predictable collection of songs; definitely one to check out.

Check out these guys if you like QOTSA, Regina Spektor, Muse, No Doubt or Skunk Anansie.

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