Release Date: May 21, 2013
Record label: Fat Cat
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Noise Pop
Working out of Mississippi, R. Cole Furlow racked up an impressive number of skuzzy but super poppy lo-fi singles and EPs since he began recording as Dead Gaze in 2009. In 2013, Fat Cat/Palmist rounded up a bunch of his best songs from the now-out-of-print recordings, then added a few new ones, ending up with something that functions as a greatest-hits so far, and an introduction to the super-catchy, weirdo pop Furlow seems to effortlessly churn out.
Dead Gaze, the moniker of Mississippi home-recording experimentalist R. Cole Furlow, has been a favorite of the lo-fi scene for a few years, having eschewed a proper LP release in favor of a ceaseless string of under-the-radar limited-run tracks. With this, a self-titled LP for the Fat Cat imprint Palmist, he’s collected the best from those myriad releases into a comprehensive collage that shows its rough edges as much as its glossy, hodgepodge pop ambitions.
Single-artist compilation albums are always dangerous territory. It is in musicians’ nature to change, and compilations sometimes have trouble reflecting that change in a cohesive way. No artist’s catalog is pristine, either, and even the most hit-centric collection has its share of clunkers. Dead Gaze, a full-length comprised of previously-released tracks from songwriter Cole Furlow’s Dead Gaze moniker, suffers from the ailment that very occasionally befalls the Beatles’ most psychedelic material, in that effects and atmosphere end up overwhelming the actual songwriting hidden somewhere beneath them.
The grungy noise that echoes around this debut from Dead Gaze sounds as if it must’ve been made in a grimy basement studio on the West Coast of the United States. However, R. Cole Furlow makes his music in the more serene and peaceful surroundings of the somewhat less renowned Mississippi. It’s here he adopts his home recording approach, which has now amounted to enough material from which to construct an album.From the offset it appears that ‘Dead Gaze’ is going to comprise of the deafening volumes of DIY production combined with distorted noise.