The DJ Sessions


Album Review: Dead Miranda unleash the anarchic and thoroughly satisfying ‘Anima Pod’: a brutal sonic assault with a soft heart.

Backseat Mafia | February 27, 2023

Anarchic sonic terrorists from Ital, Dead Miranda, have unleashed their debut album ‘Anima Pod’ on the world and it is a battering ram of deliciously dark noise that puts in a blender an insistent electronic throb with distorted strangulated and abused guitars. Deadpan lyrics are cold and distant, sneering and louche. An utterly cathartic blizzard of sound that clears out the cobwebs and leaves you stunned. And yet there appears a melodic sweetness that ebbs and flows like the electronic waves across the album.

The opening track ‘Your Slice of Pie’ needs a health warning with its electronic blips and stabs punctuated by slashing guitars and the distant droning vocals. It is a sonic assault of distorted, shredding guitars, ominous dark synths and an insistent percussion that hammers and claws its way into your consciousness.

‘Your Slice of Pie’ becomes in a way the band’s signature song: the band’s name comes from the protagonist in the Australian classic sensuous horror tale ‘Picnic At Hanging Rock’, and ‘Your Slice of Pie’ references that strange and weird tale:

Ascending the rock against the sun
A backlit white dress against the sun
We will never know she get blown away, blown away

Where are you going with no shoes
Your slice of pie before you die

The lyrics, like the girls in this tale, get lost – nestled as they are far in the ether amongst the barrage of machinery and noise. This is thrilling and exciting stuff from Dead Miranda: perhaps the passage of time and the name change have resulted in an intrusion of barbed-wire into the mix, a darker ominous presence that is visceral and raw.

‘Ya Yandere’ throws in a more poppy refrain, but it’s still delivered over a buzz-saw barrage of sound that slices and dices with abandon. The hyper agitated percussion of ‘Get High On Christmas’ delivers another aural assault, interspersed by a pause and an antithetically gentle synth refrain in the ether. This track rumbles like a jungle beat with demonic chanting nestling under the beat.

‘Stop Fishing For Compliments’ (you have to smile at the titles that are as brutal as the sounds) has a metallic thunder of guitars while Luca Zotti’s vocals are almost sweet – creating the sort of tension found in The Jesus and Mary Chain between light and dark.

‘Looney Punk’ swaggers and rolls like a drunk in a tavern, switching pace and ducking and weaving, edgy and dramatic with its sudden swerves into the undergrowth. Similarly, ‘Oldskull’ eschews standard arrangements and is more of a sonic blast of electronic blips and pings over thundering rhythms and distant chanting vocals. The lyrics have an Arctic cut to them – cold, cynical and bold:

If you knew how many tears I shed
For the blood I have no spilt
Twin shadows hand in hand
Come to me so slow so quick
Slim ghost take my hand
Slim ghost hand in hand
Slim ghost in my bed
Baby call me Oldskull

‘Lionel Cookie’ is as crunchy as its name suggests, with frequent collaborator Johnny Jay lending vocal assistance and a hurly burly whirligig circus wilderness to the instrumentation, interspersed by a psychedelic and anthemic chorus that bursts through like a ray of sunshine through thunder clouds. This is a standout, twisting and turning contrasting sweet melodies with an out of kilter undercurrent – an ominous and terrifying spectacle that you cannot turn away from.

The instrumental ‘Cher Criminal’ takes a heavy dose of sedatives and drifts into an almost jazzy fugue with a touch funky synth bass that high steps its way into your head. This is a refreshing. aquatic and bubbling track with a complexity and nuanced approach. A clear indication that Dead Miranda have many bows in their quiver.

Final track ‘The Valley Below’ includes vocal contribution and lyrics from Bryce Bourdeau from the US band Lunar Twin (another Backseat Mafia favourite) and is a thunderous, insistent track with a shoegaze drone and a cinematic sweep. This is electro-goth at its most satisfying.

‘Anima Pod’ is a dirty, filthy, chaotic and at times anarchic album and yet it displays an enthralling level of creativity and a healthy disdain for the mundane and the boringly normal. It is a sonic adventure that has no script, lurches frequently out of control and yet stays its course to the end with a golden thread of sweetness that tempers the anger and leavens the darkness. It is exciting, visceral music that sneers and postures its way into the light from a murky darkness and confounds expectations at every turn.

‘Anima Pod’ is out now and available through the link below.

Anima Pod by Dead Miranda

We here at Backseat Mafia have been following closely following the career of Luca Zotti in his various guises, from Sweet Jane and Claire back in 2014 (see our review of their album ‘Sticky Caramel Mind’ here) to the recent Unruly Girls (see our review of 2020’s ‘Epidemic’ here). Throughout this time, there has been a golden thread of refined anarchy and a frisson of danger – an electro punk blast and indulgence that thrills and excites with its creativity and sense of bacchanalian excess.

And the name of the band? Zotti says:

We enjoyed our former name but now we feel that something’s changing in our personal life. The name Dead Miranda is inspired by the schoolgirl who died mysteriously on St Valentine’s Day in Australia -the main character in ‘Picnic At Hanging Rock’.

An antipodean connection that reflects the band’s literary range with Zotti’s intense and considered intellect.

Dead Miranda remain Luigi Limongelli (programming, drums, percussions & noises) and Zotti (performing as Humbert Alison) (vocals, guitars & keyboards), with Zotti often performing solo. Limongelli’s clear mastery of electronics is perfectly matched by Zotti’s indie guitar background and rock star demeanour. 

Written by Backseat Mafia


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