BIG EARS

Dead Rider

Dead Rider

Sun   Mar   27   2022 - 12:00 AM Pilot Light

Dead Rider is Todd Rittman, formerly the guitarist from the highly influential, rock-destroying band US Maple, returning to cast a new vision from the rubble of rock and roll. This creation marks a change from the colder, more bleak outlook of his prior band, and turns to a warmer, yet shattered version of r’n’b and/or hip hop scattered over broken guitar that still cannot hide a kid raised in the era of classic rock. Atop this impossible sound, made further so after being characteristically restitched by Rittman’s hand, a crackled soulful vocal delivered in performance with a nod to Johnny “Guitar” Watson.

These days Dead Rider exists primarily as a trio. Crew foreman Todd Rittmann twines stuttered words and whispers, the pealing of a steel drum, a squalling sax or two, barks from the outside with a cabling of acid-base guitar licks, cutting down into the roots for fingerings to invert and extend. It’s beat is lode-bearing, brick-house solid courtesy of battery-man Matt Espy, but flexible, breathing. Bass lines roll and crush, bounce and squish as required via White Christmas, also bringing synth and synthesis into and away from the framework.

What’s left wafting through the room is the float and gloss of eternal rhythm and blues, whether it’s the swelling of soulful choirs, organ chords or the deft tailing of guitar lines designed to relax us in the shades of a dusty, aphrodisiac evening. All done up with wack that Thundercat would get on the one, that would drive D’Angelo or Kendrick back to the notebooks for all the right words.

BIG EARS
Knoxville, TN · USA

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