Paul Nicholson

Dexters – ‘We Paid For Blood’ Album Review

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“This is music with a swagger. There is an heir of confidence about 2015 Dexters, and it makes for great listening.”

London’s indie five-piece band Dexters, follow up their fantastic debut album “Shimmer Gold” with their much-anticipated second collection “We Paid For Blood”.

Left with the unenviable task of maintaining or bettering the high standards set by the success of their first CD, it was always going to be difficult for them to avoid falling into the dreaded ‘second album syndrome’ trap. So when the CD landed on my doormat, it was with a sense of intrigue, excitement and a touch of trepidation that I inserted it into the slot of my player.

I need not have worried.

There is a distinct change in direction from their previous stuff, which is self-evident from the first listen. The sound is undoubtedly darker and edgier, and the band have not been afraid to stick their necks out and take a few risks… and why not?

This is music with a swagger. There is an heir of confidence about 2015 Dexters, and it makes for great listening.

The music transports you from your car or living room to a pre-politically correct world of smoke-laden, tobacco-scented, broken glass-littered, intimate concert halls of times gone by.

This new darker side is epitomised by the first track following the intro “Wolves”. The screeching guitars and a rough and rugged sounding Tom Rowlett, accompanied by pounding drums introduce us to a place we’ve never been with them before. But this is merely a prelude of things to come, as “Suburban Sex Dungeon” goes a step further towards the Dark Side, with tales of secret cellars filled with chains, whips and leather clad participants in a fantasy role-play world that few people would ever dare to think about.

Then there is “Your Lovely Wife”, a satirical and sarcastic story about a wife-beating husband being poisoned by his victim. A Mike Skinner-esque song that highlights the versatility that Dexters portray through their music.

But it’s not all a musical film noir. The album has a little bit of everything.

A musical oxymoron, it has a perfect mix of their new style with the trippy sound, infectious, swirling guitars, melodic, beautifully arranged songs and narrative lyrics shown off to the max by the dexterity of Tom’s voice, which are all synonymous with debut-album Dexters.

“These Nights Were Made For Us” and “Borderline” are just typical toe-tapping Dexters.

The penultimate track “Braggarts Regatta” fuses both of their guises. A sing-a-long sound, with Tom’s vocal range on full display, this track would not be out of place on a highlight reel of The Hives greatest hits – any higher praise I could not give.

“Her disappearing Act” and “You Deserve The World” are two beautifully stripped down songs that slow the pace down, giving us a chance to take a breath.

The whole CD is an eclectic journey. The title track “We Paid For Blood” is so good that it could melt the speakers. With its quiet start, building up to a crescendo of guitars and orchestral stringed accompaniment, the song has a definite anthemic feel about it. If anyone ever asks you what all the fuss about Dexters is about – just play them this song, and let their ears answer the question for them.

Dexters are a band riding the crest of a wave, and at the top of their game. What the future holds for them, no one knows, but as good starts go, their’s has been about as superb as it gets.

British Rock ‘n’ Roll greatness is their’s for the taking.

Paul Nicholson


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