A dark and poignant merging of indie rock, hardcore and blues, DEAD RED SEA strikes with a hushed aggression. Stripped down and exposed, alienation and intensity trademark the candid narratives of frontman Ryan Shelkett (ex-vocalist / songwriter for now defunct indie rock heroes Cross My Heart). On BIRDS, Shelkett plays the melancholy everyman – his voice familiar, connecting and somber – uncovering the charred aspects of his naked psyche. Grounding the listener in stark reality through musical memoirs about insecurity, mistrust and self-loathing, Shelkett reveals the person trapped within his scrambled sense of self. Familiarity with such subject matter shouldn’t feel so good, but it does. You can’t help but to fill in the blanks with details of your own experience, thus providing comfort with the daily disharmony inside your mind.
Amid a healthy respect for space, the calm yet confident tones of a softly treading rhythm section provides the appropriate accompaniment for Shelkett’s earnest pop poetry. Quiet and sparse eventually give way to intervals of urgency and power, releasing the unspoken tension that envelops the record – the guitars that have been straining to get out.
Yes, the intensity is all somehow there…and that’s the magic of BIRDS. Weaving between sobering states of depression and energizing encounters with clarity, BIRDS is an exquisitely intimate affair flagged with songs that are soulful, drenched in feeling and decidedly charming.
Baltimore, Maryland’s DEAD RED SEA is Ryan Shelkett (vocals, guitar, ex-Cross My Heart), Charles Cole (rhodes, drums), Alan Randall (bass, ex-Wrong Button) and Buck (drums, rhodes, ex-Third Harmonic Distortion). BIRDS was recorded in November of 2000 by Craig Bowen at ACR Studio in Baltimore, MD. Darron Eager played drums on the record. DEAD RED SEA also appears on Deep Elm’s ‘the Silence In My Heart: The Emo Diaries, Chapter Six” with an unreleased song “Even If There’s A Chance In Hell.” A 7-inch featuring two unreleased songs “Gone” and “Brightside” is being released on England’s Engineer Records.