Aug 2011 09

Dead When I Found Her - Harm's Way
Dead When I Found Her
Category: Industrial
Album: Harm’s Way
Stars: 4.5
Blurb: Dead When I Found Her demonstrates the proper way to release a debut album.


In this era, it’s easy to become disillusioned with the never ending stream of mediocre to outright loathsome recordings that are clogging the music the world. The accessibility of advanced technology has created the opportunity for any John or Jane to record and release his or her own music. The results are more frequently disastrous than this writer would like to admit; technology is only as capable as its user’s manipulations. Once in a while however, you come across an inspired gem and you realize that there are still talented people out there making great music.

Dead When I Found Her from Portland, Oregon is among the latter category. While their debut album Harm’s Way is by no means a perfect record, the complexity of the compositions and the intricacy of the instrumentation is absolutely impressive, as well as refreshing. Released on the Artoffact label, Harm’s Way is an amalgam of old-school and modern electronic styles. While the influences of bands like Skinny Puppy and Mentallo & The Fixer are clearly present, sole member Michael Arthur Holloway brings a certain vision and pop sensibility to the music that is all his own. Tracks like the electronic dance of “Second Sight” are pummeling in their own right but when combined with understated vocals and lyrics produce a subtly aggressive song that will keep you coming back for more. “Fixer Fixed” is another keynote track, with this song taking a more guitar-oriented approach. “Fixer Fixed” begins somewhat discordantly but progressively increases in intensity until it reaches its climax toward the very end of the song.

Another pleasant aspect of Harm’s Way is the considerable lack of vocal processing. Holloway has a great voice and he doesn’t make the mistake of burying it in pointless distortion. Lyrically, each song is beautifully written and Holloway doesn’t rely on the typical verse/chorus/verse approach that universally plagues music. Each track becomes a story, as opposed to the amateurish anthems you’ll find on a KMFDM or Combichrist record. On the negative side, Harm’s Way begins to lose momentum about two-thirds of the way through and ends on a somewhat unmemorable note. While none of these songs could be described as poor, they do lack the charisma and charm of the songs that comprise the first portion of the record.

Overall, Harm’s Way is a fantastic record, especially for a debut release. One could bet that the band’s next release will make a serious splash, and this release is recommended for any fan of late ’80s to late ’90s industrial music.
Track list:

  1. Curtains
  2. Painkiller Suite
  3. Fixer Fixed
  4. Second Sight
  5. Phantoms
  6. Fortune’s Few
  7. The Proof
  8. Lost House
  9. Stitches
  10. Subject Reject
  11. Useless Children
  12. Taking Shelter

Dead When I Found Her Website
Dead When I Found Her MySpace
Dead When I Found Her Facebook
Dead When I Found Her Twitter
Dead When I Found Her SoundCloud
Artoffact Records Website
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Brian Backlash (BrianBacklash)

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