Dead When I Found Her
Eyes on Backwards
Release date: November 4, 2016
By: Johan Carlsson
If you’ve seen the extremely funny Ben Stiller movie “Tropic Thunder” you’ll know that you should “never go full retard”. On this new album from Michael Holloway’s Dead When I Found Her, he has finally gone full Skinny Puppy. Nah, I’m exaggerating a bit for effect, but on some songs it’s very obvious, primarily on the first two tracks. His influences have always been heard, perhaps leaning more towards the atmospheric Skinny Puppy side project Doubting Thomas, but on “Eyes on Backwards” it’s mainly the harsh, distorted and dense tone of 90:s “Too Dark Park” era Skinny Puppy that seems to have inspired him. He does it well of course; arguably better than Skinny themselves these days…
The songs on “Eyes on Backwards” rely more on emotions, atmosphere and soundscapes than conventional song writing which makes them sort of blend together a little bit for me. Some compositions stand out, such as “Braille” where all parts come together, yielding a powerful result. In general, Holloway has gone darker and heavier this time, and he’s a fantastically skilled producer – even though many songs employ an eerily similar sound palette. However, things do get more diverse as we journey through the album and for example ”Unsolved History” is a masterful slower piece thick with atmosphere. The slower songs work better; there he can let the arrangements breathe a little. The closer ”Serus Mundi” is a prime example of this; it’s moody, suggestive song where all the things you’d hoped for on this album comes true.