Dead Finks, led by Erin Violet and Joseph Thomas, began writing music in Sydney, Australia c. 2016/17 playing sporadic shows under various guises without much of any overarching plan. In 2019, they relocated to Berlin and resolved to start releasing records and making regular live appearances. As of 2020, a name has been settled on, songs have been mixed and new friends have been recruited into the fold.
And so comes "The Death and Resurrection of Johnathan Cowboy LP", their debut LP, mostly self-recorded and self-produced in Berlin. Some songs expose a love of new wave synthesiser groups like New Order and Yellow Magic Orchestra, while others lean into the more aggressive punk style of their former compatriots like Low Life and Total Control. There's also threads of drone, hardcore punk, and some straight-up pop moments for good measure.
On The Death & Resurrection Of Jonathon Cowboy the band showcase an incredible knack for writing catchy and unique melodies. They play punk music in the tradition of Wire, Sonic Youth and The Fall (whose "Frightened" is covered here, recorded the night of Mark E. Smith's death) and take cues from contemporaries like Parquet Courts and Iceage in their efforts to manipulate and expand upon what it means to be a punk group in 2021.
Written and recorded in Sydney, late 2018 (shortly before the duo moved to Berlin) the LP serves as a strange prediction of the horrible state of the world today. Songs about war, plagues, pissing, police, David Cronenberg’s Videodrome and the climate burning. Its a sea of wiry guitars and thumping bass that plants itself inside your inner ear and doesn’t leave. Thomas’ smart-ass delivery and literary style with odd references abounding, sees a return to something similarly touched upon in his previous group Trust Punks. However, on this LP Dead Finks feel more straight-forward in the best kind of way. Stripped down rock music that knows what it is and smashes you over the head. Vocal harmonies and lush organ sounds. It sounds really good. Divorcing somewhat on this release from the harsh underground sounds of previous iterations of the band.
An extremely strange synchronicity. Some will try and say it was planned. It wasn’t. This is art working in mysterious ways. Hopefully for some of you it will help. Personally, these songs transcend this horrible situation we are collectively going through. But they cannot be exempt from being looked at through the gaze of a world stricken by plague. It’s the Death… & RESURRECTION of Johnathon Cowboy; you, me & everyone else.