REVIEW: 9XDead - Demo

By Marcus Pan

Chain Border

9XDeadTrue to its roots, the United Kingdom still offers us some of the best gothic and punk style music harkening back to the older influences and earlier sounds. Joining in the ranks with some of my UK based favorites such as Killing Miranda and Libitina is now the brand new 9XDead.

I first came across 9XDead when I was entering new entries at the Net.Goth Directory. So through there I contacted a spokesperson, Gary Appleby their drummer, and requested a promo. It came in shortly thereafter - a 3 song EP. The outfit is brand spanking new, reforming after its third lineup break in 1998. The reformation occurred when bassist Christopher Sutoris and drummer Gary started asking around in January, 2000. They eventually met Owen Hedges, guitarist and vocalist. Nearly a year later the three invited Rachel Appleby, guitarist, to help fill out the sound and achieve the heavier gothic punk and metal-oriented style they have now.

The EP contains three original songs from 9XDead catalog, and was recorded in October, 2000. Throughout the CD and lent to by Owen's blunt vocal work, one caveat of this initial recording I've found (done live to DAT) is that the vocals could be given more power within the arrangement. Even on a slower, bass-dominated song such as Haunted it couldn't hurt. 9XDead have a refreshingly gritty sound, like good punk before the industry swallows it and spits it out with a pretty bow on it. The recording is surprisingly good quality for the method used; kudos to Chris for the engineering.

Wild Women opens with a strong riff between Chris and Owen. Vocals are spit and blunt. Gary's percussion here is tantamount to holding the track together with this grunge style of rhythm. Speed changes are hard to pull off with a grungy guitar style, and he does it here. Following is Valley Fix, which also takes a grunge rhythm format, but with a slower pace. 9XDead's style remains simplistic, putting them in line with the earlier influencers of the gothic punk genres. Two acts that immediately come to mind are Jesus & Mary Chain and the recently arrived Killing Miranda. I hear some Sex Pistols in here too, especially in Valley Fix.

9XDead are off to a good start. I'm really curious as to what they could sound like with more resources, and yes they are label shopping. Hopefully someone will pick them up and give them a go at it.

Contact Information:
Post: 72 St. Cenydd Road, Trecenydd, Caerphilly, CF83 2TE, South Wales, UK
Telephone: +44 029 2086 0781

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