Uncle Acid & the deadbeats. What is there to know? Admittedly, not very much. Uncle Acid himself hails from Cambridge (that’s in the UK guys), and declines to be photographed in any capacity that doesn’t feature the back of his head. His band may or may not exist – depending on how may drugs the man himself is on (this may be a small lie, but it sounds good right?) and despite being one of the most sought after acts currently, they have yet to play a major show. All this should change though, with upcoming appearances in London Towne and next year’s marvellous Roadburn festival.
Blood Lust was initially available on the lovely format of vinyl, and a second run of the LP by Rise Above Records sold out extremely quickly – in mere minutes as legend goes – sparking renewed interest in this supremely intriguing entity. Blood Lust now sees a CD reissue on Rise Above along with North American distribution via Metal Blade Records and a brand new track added to the mix. Now the technical stuff is out of the way, let’s get on with what the record sounds like. Comfortable?
Blood Lust is a delightful throwback to a simpler time. A time when music was recorded on a minimal budget and on equipment that was likely to break down at any second. Uncle Acid & the deadbeats sound like they’ve been transported back to the 60s or 70s, their fuzzy layers of murky sound billowing around dual harmonies and a trippy sense of the unknown. Blood Lust is a concept album of sorts, the story proceeding with the channel hopping tones of “I’ll Cut You Down” before settling on the eponymous film of the title,Blood Lust. As the record progresses each song represents a portion of this long lost flick and Uncle Acid rides on a blissed out train of hazy and sultry horror.
“Death’s Door” swaggers with a knowing attitude, the bass line picking out the unholy nature of the track with a dastardly and bombastic brashness whilst the smoky guitar riffs conjure and evoke the atmosphere of opium filled dens of the past. “Curse in the Trees” rolls around in a doomed landscape of filthy bass and nearly lost vocal lines, Uncle Acid’s voice disappearing in the mist of the music and the fog of some kind of splendid psychedelic pharmaceutical.
“I’m Here to Kill You” trips along on a beat that doesn’t quite sit right within the song but the feisty cymbal work beneath gives the song a devilishly fiery approach and Uncle Acid’s vocal soars above the otherwise curious time signature. It’s certainly a jaunty affair in any case, and despite its strangeness and weird propulsion forward, the song is definitely to be experienced whilst perhaps on another plane of existence. “13 Candles” catches the ear almost immediately and worms its way into the soul with the hypnotic repetition found throughout Blood Lust. Uncle Acid has a commanding presence on record – one can only imagine how this translates to the live arena – and even here you can feel the influence of long forgotten Hammer Horror films and the flickering images of banned classics in the vein of Argento and Fulci.
The sadness tinged “Withered Hand of Evil” benefits from an organ led line of sorrow, closing Blood Lust and bringing the narrative of the now found and once lost film to an end. The television that happened upon it audibly turns off in the midst of feedback and Blood Lust is, sadly, over. Uncle Acid & the deadbeats have created a wonderful ode to a time long since passed yet with their musical ambitions, it will never be forgotten. Sit back, pour a whiskey, indulge in a little bit of something decadently hazy and enter the intoxicating world of Uncle Acid.