December 17, 2015 Dead Boy Robotics – New Cells (Album Review)
The three man band, Dead Boy Robotics, from Edinburgh, Scotland, got their start in May of 2010. With their Alternative, Dark Rock, Pop sound, they are bound to make a name for themselves. Consisting of Gregor McMillan(Bass/Vocals), Mike Bryant (Guitar/Vocals), and Paul Bannon (Drums), Dead Boy Robotics self-released their debut EP, Tale of the Winter Kids, in May 2010. From there, they released a self-titled debut album in November 2011. Featuring two singles from the album that received airplay on several radio stations, in May of 2011, the band recorded a live session for Ally McCrae’s BBC Introducing show. Moving forward, and continuing to build on their sound, in May of 2015 they released a new single entitled “Arrival” to promote the exciting news of a new album entitled New Cells set for release in November. Their second overall full-length record, New Cells hit the public on November 20th, released via Brother Grimm, and was recorded in Edinburgh and mastered in New York. An introduction to many, New Cells is a fun, yet dark sound that a lot of people might find appealing.
The song “Lost” launches listeners into the world that Dead Boy Robotics have created. Sounding like a cross between Matchbook Romance and Alive Like, one can see where they get their Dark Rock Pop sound. It is heavy, fast, and gets followed up by “Bathysphere,” which continues the musical styling using a solid drum beat and a constant reworking of guitar chords. Their latest single, “Echo” sounds like Muse could have helped co-write every aspect of the song. The heavy bass start, mixed with mostly cymbal use and vocals sounds straight out the Muse textbook, and it works.
“Not Parade,” again starts off with the large use of the bass guitar, but then quickly incorporates guitar riffs and a drum beat. The vocals are the strongest of the beginning of this album with the lengthy held notes and harmonies. Then the aforementioned “Arrival” has a sound that causes one to picture a well-conceived heist coming together, and each change of verse and musical tone is another successful piece of the heist accomplished. It is a song that could easily be heard on an Ocean’s Eleven soundtrack, if another installment in the series was released, and it is yet another strong bass composition.
“Halos” follows the same sinister sound of the previous song, even with the title lending a sense of cheerfulness. Then there is the title track, “New Cells,” slowing down the tempo that keeps a dark mellowness throughout the song. The distortion of vocals and instruments adds to the creepiness that one can feel while listening to the song. After that there is “Rise,” which brings back the faster beat and stronger use of the guitar over bass. Beginning with vocals that give a prayer-like sound, “Bones” features haunting lyricism, and when the bass and drum line kick in, it makes the song more like a Heavy Metal kind of sound.
Slowing the pace once again is“Spells.” The drum tries to keep the beat, slow while also trying to speed up into the chorus where the bass meets the pace and speeds it up. Finally, “Ships” ends New Cells with putting one in a trance-like state. Its slow, vocal distortion and drum line has one sitting wondering what the meaning of life is.
Dead Boy Robotics have a mashed up sound of several unique, heavy, dark genres. It makes them able to have fans stretch across an array of musical interests. New Cells’ dark lyricism, vocals, and use of bass make this album much more Metal sounding than Pop, but when they throw in the use of distortion and some more upbeat guitar plucking, one can find them in that Pop genre. They give music fans an interesting, new mix of both, which is why CrypticRock gives New Cells 4 out of 5 stars.