Single Review: Dense 'Displaced Face'
A few weeks ago I saw Dense live alongside No Teeth at Little Buildings and they played what can only be described as a frenzied, ecstatic set; stomping on their fuzz pedals with Dr. Martens and cuffed dickies, and vocalising deathly chants and chaotic phrases. The Leeds band sent tremors down the street and resonated strongly within the walls of the venue.
On the 15th of March, Dense released a single titled 'Displaced Face' and to be honest it does exactly what it says on the tin… Yes - it displaces your face.
'Displaced Face' is the portrayal of a nest of angry hornets, after having their hive repeatedly hounded by a rounders bat, and the whole track is submerged in a thick, engulfing layer of fuzz that is hard to escape.
For the full 4 minutes and 8 seconds runtime, you are a slave to the sound of the menacing, scratching guitars, as it pulls on your ears and heavies your neck, equipping you for what it may bring next.
The cut and paste structure of the song, by which the verses and choruses start and end, is abruptly announced and highlighted in the track. Like sharp, near-death blind corner curves; slam on the break!
The whole song plays out almost like a fight scene, slowing down and speeding up, building up then dropping - and doing the same again.
A back-alley brawl, brought to your ears by Dense.
The dystopian screech of the lyrics makes me glad that I am not in the world/the mind of the vocalist, yet thankful that I get to hear such madness.
In this case, and in some others, a song does not need clear lyrics to highlight the tone or the intent. In Dense's 'Displaced Face', we do not need to hear the exact words that Charlie Fossick is saying, the tone is generated clearly enough through the rest of the song; and I really like that. Dense don't have to speak words to make you feel, they can just play.
Overall, 'Displaced Face' has chiseled a crater into the face of the heavy music scene which is going to be hard for others to fill. Bands such as Dense keep upping the bar and making more and more inventive, experimental and dangerous music. Whatever will they make next?