The Stranger, 07.24.2003

UP & COMING

By Dave Segal

The Dead Science blows fresh avant-garde air into Seattle's rock scene. Guitarist/vocalist Sam Mickens is only 21, but he writes with a wisdom well beyond his years, and his elongated sighs and poignant whispers soar and swoop between Thom Yorke grandiosity and Nick Drake melancholy. The alarmingly skillful Bischoff brothers (Jherek on contrabass, Korum on drums) can hold their own with Knitting Factory ringers or Nick Cave's Bad Seeds back when they still had fire in their bellies. On their new, accomplished debut, Submariner, the Dead Science maneuver through eerie, serpentine art songs with poise and steely-eyed fierceness. Not surprisingly from a band with connections to Xiu Xiu and Degenerate Art Ensemble, these guys know what Sturm und Drang means and handle odd time signatures like free-jazz greats (one of the members, Michael White, contributes violin), but they still can spark enough friction to set ablaze your Sonic Youth vinyl.


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