‘The Dance of Death’ takes every little trendy boy and hangs him with his own skinny tie...
Jo Williams

14:45 2nd March 2007

‘The Dance Of Death’ is album number 4 from the Scaramanga Six. It features 10 epic tales of self confessed evil pop bastardry. Featuring ‘Baggage’ this CD grabs you by the throat and strokes your face, like a lover who has been drinking whiskey until all hours. You never quite know what it’s going to do next. But you know it’s going to be a grand gesture. Sporadically recorded in a farmhouse in Salisbury with Cardiac’s Tim Smith, who worked with the Scaramangas on 2004’s ‘Cabin Fever’. It sounds more like it should have been made in a blood red velvet padded cell.

The opener ‘The Throning Room’ sweeps in dramatically like an ageing drag queen that proceeds to bite the head off your son’s pet hamster. Short and with proper guitars Morricone’s vocals shouting then crooning in rock splendour like a man who’s spent years practicing. So wrong, yet so good. It comes as no surprise that they used a drummer from a Queen tribute band on this. Nestled between the chaos we have songs that border on tender. ‘The Collector’ is almost stripped bare in comparison. ‘Catalyst’ provides some lovely piano and although it verges on rock ballad there’s something more
Scott Walker about it. “When you smile it takes up your whole face”.

Similarly ‘Sunken Eyes’ takes the serious issue of domestic violence and makes it into a dirty rock epic with a croon that Walker would be proud of. The underlying organ adds  a sense of foreboding and although it’s not easy listening because of the truthful lyrics, the music is actually surprisingly like schizophrenic funky cabaret  verging on early Pulp recordings. Lyrically speaking there seems to be a penchant for word play and rhyming couplets. There seems to be a genuine love for the sounds of words. ‘Helvetica’ takes the font of the same name and turns it into an anthem of ego with glorious harmonies and baritone saxophone. ”Treat me like I’m just common place - I’m the man from Helvetica”.

The passion and skill in this CD is palpable in every play. Those who will try to pigeonhole The Scaramanga Six as mock rock darkly humorous Northerners. Think again and listen to this. it’s seriously good music. The  piano on the opening to ’Towering Inferno’ is a thing of beauty by itself. The humour is just a bonus. ‘The Dance of Death’ takes every little trendy boy and hangs him with his own skinny tie.