Following the White Stripes’ recent break up, a sizable drum-and-guitar shaped hole was left in the dirty blues scene. That hole can now be filled by Halifax’s Cursed Arrows. The gender-balanced two-piece, comprised of Ry N and Jack E Stanley, step up to the plate and hit a strong drive into centre field with their new cassette Death Rattle Blues. It’s not quite a home run, but it’s pretty damn close. The tape features their “Death Rattle Blues,” the first single off their upcoming third full length The Madness of the Crowds. It also contains two acoustic tracks and two cover tunes.
“Death Rattle Blues” is a kick in the teeth in the best way possible. The driving guitar lines and steady build-up showcase the rawness of Cursed Arrows, with a dash of Pinkerton-era Weezer shining through as the pair harmonize the line “Watching you watching me.” It’s a standout track, whetting our appetites for Madness of the Crowds.
The PJ Harvey cover, “Rid of Me,” contains great harmonies recorded in an off-the-cuff manner. The acoustic tracks “Carefree Chemicals” and “Not The End” are decent, but they pale in comparison to the raw power of the other songs. Cursed Arrows are at their strongest with their instruments plugged in.
All in all, Death Rattle Blues is similar to a three-dollar breakfast at Bon’s: quick, dirty and satisfying. The cassette is only $4 to purchase or you can find the album for free from their Bandcamp page.