Scorpio Rising

Scorpio Rising

5.0 1
by Death in Vegas
     
 

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Falling midway between the Chemical Brothers and My Bloody Valentine, Death in Vegas love big-beat electronics as much as they do dense guitars. But they love guest vocalists even more. On Scorpio Rising, the successor to 1999's acclaimed The Contino Sessions, Death in Vegas's Richard Fearless and Tim Holmes enlistSee more details below

Overview

Falling midway between the Chemical Brothers and My Bloody Valentine, Death in Vegas love big-beat electronics as much as they do dense guitars. But they love guest vocalists even more. On Scorpio Rising, the successor to 1999's acclaimed The Contino Sessions, Death in Vegas's Richard Fearless and Tim Holmes enlist Liam Gallagher of Oasis, the Jam's Paul Weller, and a passel of female vocalists -- including Dot Allison and, on three tracks, Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval -- for a collection of bracing anthems and exotic ballads. In place of Contino's gothic darkness, Scorpio revels in rock 'n' roll power chords, Indian drones, and acoustic strumming for a heady, psychedelic journey. At one end of the spectrum, the tender "Killing Smile" backs Sandoval's breathy voice with banjo, mandolin, and strings. At the other end, the title track is a grand rock epic featuring Gallagher's impassioned voice, a sample from Status Quo's "Pictures of Matchstick Men," and sitar-like guitars. In between, Weller turns Gene Clark's "So You Say You Lost Your Baby" into a soulful rave-up, Allison coos through "Diving Horses," Adult.'s Nicola Kuperus goes electro on "Hands Around My Throat," and Woodbine's Susan Dillane soars through the majestic "23 Lies." For all its star turns, however, Scorpio Rising is still Death in Vegas's show, a swirling, engrossing mix of masculine rock and feminine mystique.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lee Meyer
For the duo's anticipated third album, Scorpio Rising, Death in Vegas has seemingly adopted the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude, once again drawing from elements of gritty rock, techno repetition, and spacy psychedelia. On first listen, Scorpio Rising (the name is taken from a Kenneth Anger film) feels overly monotonous, as nearly every song quickly finds its groove and sticks with it from start to finish with little variety in the process. However, multiple listens reveal that not only is Scorpio Rising noticeably more upbeat overall than its gothic predecessor, but its diversity comes from the many genres and musical styles that it incorporates. It doesn't hurt either that the album also stars a new cast of guest musicians. Returning to the fold is Dot Allison ("Diving Horses"), who is joined by the likes of Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval ("Killing Smile" and "Help Yourself") and Woodbine's Susan Dillane ("Girls" and "23 Lies"), all of whom are delegated to contribute their breathy voices over lush psychedelic soundscapes for an effect that is reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine. Fittingly handling the reins of the album's more rocking numbers are Oasis' Liam Gallagher and former Jam frontman Paul Weller. Both of their efforts tip their hat to 1960s rock, with the title track highlighting Gallagher as he sings over what sounds like a blend of middle-period Beatles and Status Quo's "Pictures of Matchstick Men," while Weller's strident take on Gene Clark's "So You Say You Lost Your Baby" provides the album with some fun and unpredictability. Also unpredictable is "Killing Smile," which is among Death in Vegas' most welcoming and folk-influenced songs. The track also accentuates the unique combination of Sandoval's vocals and the string arrangements of Indian violinist Dr. Subramaniam, who also pair up for the grand "Help Yourself," another of the album's high points. Perhaps the album's best track sounds like something that could have been included on The Contino Sessions --- "Hands Around My Throat," which unleashes a hypnotic syncopated keyboard loop and simple bassline along with a menacing vocal from Adult.'s Nicola Kuperus, a seething version of Blondie as she intones, "Try this and you might find/I'm in your place, I see your face." The only tracks that don't improve with time are "Leather" and "Natja," both forgettable instrumentals that need more than studio trickery to make them interesting. Aside from these missteps, Scorpio Rising suffers a bit from its own ambition, lacking the brooding consistency that made The Contino Sessions feel like a proper album. Scorpio Rising may not have the coherence of its forerunner, but its individual eclectic achievements still add up to an engaging album.
Rolling Stone - Peter Relic
An ambitious effort where acid-damaged instrumentals exist alongside songs sung by superstar guests.
Urb - Simon Hawkins
1/2 A startling collection of odd beats and diverse tempos.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/21/2003
Label:
Arista Europe
UPC:
0743219545923
catalogNumber:
195459

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Death in Vegas   Primary Artist
Kalyan   Violin
Silver Hanson   Drums
Paul Weller   Vocals
Pete Stanley   Banjo
Liam Gallagher   Vocals
Larry Wilson   Cello
Mani   Bass
Ramachandran   Violin
Mat Flint   Bass
Hope Sandoval   Vocals
Seamus Beaghen   Keyboards,Hammond Organ
T-Man   Violin
Andrew Hackett   Guitar
Dot Allison   Vocals
Chandru   Violin
James Walbourne   Mandolin
Ganesh   Sitar
Nicola Kuperus   Vocals
Susan Dillane   Vocals
Subramaniam   Conductor
Selvaraj Prabakar   Violin
Jerry Iman   Violin
Joseph Cyril   Violin
Trinath   Violin
Arawind   Violin
Lemur Beaghen   Keyboards
Kalyan Cusephachan   Violin
Paul John Weller   Vocals
Ian Button   Guitar

Technical Credits

Gene Clark   Composer
Gerry Goffin   Composer
Death in Vegas   Composer,Producer
Hope Sandoval   Composer
Richard Fearless   Composer
Adult.   Composer
Susan Dillane   Composer
Subramaniam   Composer,String Arrangements

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