Hilariously, my first exposure to Dead Naked Hippies came a year ago at Live At Leeds 2017. My friend misread their name on the lineup as ‘Dead Naked Nipples’ and oh how we laughed. Dead Naked Nipples: what does it even mean? However after over a year, having finally got round to listening to the band, all I can say now is that I wish I’d spent less time laughing at the mistaken identity of their misread band name and more time listening to their songs. Because ‘Guillotine,’ like all of DNH’s music, is a thundering furious masterpiece.
Utterly ferocious throughout, be it the outright roar of the chorus or the tense undercurrent of the verses, Dead Naked Hippies spit bile in your face in the deserving legacy of Nirvana and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And yet there’s so much artistry behind the rage. The moments where the band pulls back reveal a delicate, the XX-esque delivery, the vocals bleeding through like the seeping of secrets that the lyrics describe.
The dissonant shouting of “what’s the point” that punctuates the choruses are utterly compelling. You feel part of an indispensable group of enraged friends; furious, slighted, but united by a coalesced anger and outrage. What’s more, this audible vocal frustration is paired fantastically with guitars so filthy they make a pigsty look like a luxury suite in a Trump Hotel. There will never be a moment that my soul doesn’t thrash around internally to this chorus. If yours doesn’t do the same, then I’m sorry, but something in you must be broken. Seek help.
The production, as you probably guessed, is also fantastic. Not merely the guitars, but all the instruments have a rich depth to them that’s rare and a pleasure to hear in a band at this level. It’s phenomenal how stark the contrast is. In other hands, the difference in verse and chorus tone would be jarring and unfulfilling, but Dead Naked Hippies strike the perfect balance between calmness and being utterly livid.
This song is nothing short of mythic. As brutal as its name implies, ‘Guillotine’ will cut your fucking head off, pour itself into your body and make that corpse dance with its itchy insecurity, its rage-fueled guitar lines, and its impossibly enjoyable vocal delivery. Dead Naked Hippies’ name may make you laugh, but trust me, their music is no laughing matter, though admittedly, it will leave an impossibly big smile on your face.
The new single ‘Guillotine’ is out now – purchase a copy here.
Dead Naked Hippies’ upcoming tour dates are, as follows:
26th June – Bloc, Glasgow
4th July – Oporto, Leeds
6th July – The Green Room, Stockton-on-Tees
10th July – The Sesh, Hull
4th August – Humber Street Sesh, Hull
Photo Credit: Andrew Benge