Spotlight – 13: The Deadnotes
I should declare a prior interest somewhere. But really, what first attracted me to this band – trained in the “school of error” as practised by Maher Shalal Hash Baz and all those other naive orchestral delights, accomplished keyboards man Leighton Craig of the firm belief that where drummers went wrong was when they first started crossing their arms over – is what still attracts me to them: belief, brevity, melody, resonance, a fondness (acquired from having lived through it) for the early 80s post-Go-Betweens/early Fall mannerisms of derelict Brisbane nightclubs. Stuart Busby not only wields a trumpet like Brighton’s own Alistair Strachan (Hamilton Yarns, Crayola Lectern) but understands the absolute necessity of controlling (or not controlling) the sound. Guitarist/drummer Eugene Carchesio – an accomplished, exhibited visual artist in his own right – much favours the “play once, move on” approach to creating and inventing new songs that can’t help attract simple me. One of Eugene’s favourite musicians is Jad Fair. How can I argue with that?
I’m reminded of Monks, Moondog, 4 Gods, Flipper.
Yet, with new member Sandra Selig (another representational artist) in tow, sometimes The Deadnotes will be hefting three saxophones, or someone will be trading a fearsome, joyful, melancholic bass line to match Busby’s beautiful dissonance, or a flute will be wielded to effect. Too often noise musicians deliberately eschew melody – as if to admit for a fondness for such is a weakness. The Deadnotes are as unreconstructed and wilfully abstract as the most experimental among us, but at the heart of the music is (usually) a melody, a structure, a beating heart.
They formed December 2005 and practise quite sporadically, but boast an estimated 800 song repertoire.
‘Orange Trumpet’ is their own ‘Unknown Happiness’.
Plus, they know the fuck the importance of editing.