I am a big fan of the Scul Hazzards' House of Heads EP, and an even bigger fan of their live performances, so I was a little skeptical approaching Count Less Dead following the departure of the original vocalist and drummer. The band is now a three-piece, with Steven Smith taking on vocals and guitar antics, Tiffany Milne handling bass, and new recruit Leigh (also of Night Crash and Shakes) rounding up with drums.
My skepticism was misplaced however, and Count Less Dead builds on the Scul's previous sound, providing the mess of noise with a rudimentary structure that propels the songs forward. First track, 'Lines In The Dirt' couples a D.C.-punk riff with Leigh's frantic drumming before blending into an arresting noise-punk chorus. On 'Junket' the Scul's channel early Sonic Youth without resorting to being a carbon-copy of their heroes. 'Copicats' expands on the formula utilised on 'Lines In The Dirt', albeit with less effect, with a droning riff driving the song along before decaying into white noise and distorted snare hits. Final track, 'Vague Dream', juxtaposes a repetitive grunge bass riff from Tiffany with scattered drumming and ghost-like guitars before ending with a beautifully messy wall of guitar sound. 'So Long' was the only track on the EP which i found myself disliking, with its dirge-like bassline reminiscent of 'I Choke' off the debut EP with different lyrics over the top.
Count Less Dead is another impressive effort from Steven Smith and co., and is a promising precursor to the Scul's debut album set to be released in August.