Oh to get a glimpse inside the head of Australian-born, UK-based one-man band Dez Dare (aka Darren Smallman). When I reviewed his second album ‘Ulysses Trash’ for RPM back in August of 2022, I remember saying that he lived in a world where “music, art and mind expansion blended into one”, and with his soon-to-be-released third album ‘Perseus War’ he’s back and bending genres and minds all over again.

Originally intended to be a companion EP to ‘Ulysses Trash’, ideas spilled, riffs flowed and ‘Perseus War’ was born. In the PR pack that accompanies the album Dez explains that “’Perseus War’ is the violent struggle that the universe and all within it has to survive. The daily pressure of existence, the beauty in the destruction left by the way and the sweet solace of understanding we have no control.” And across the 10 tracks that make up ‘Perseus War’ Dez takes us on a psychedelic garage punk voyage of discovery which just like its predecessor is quite unlike anything you’ll hear (or in fact see) this year.

Just take the opening track ‘Bozo’ for example, this crazed rocker is accompanied by a video that looks like ‘Go With The Flow’ if it had been recorded by Otters Of The Stone Age. The song itself was bizarrely hypnotic and disturbing in equal measures, and once I’d been mesmerized by its fuzzed-out over the top riffage, I just couldn’t stop playing it.

Likewise, the glorious stoner acid trip that is ‘A Chimp, A Tricycle, New World Order’, which makes me wonder if Dez has used William S. Burroughs’ “cut-up” style in compiling this anthem to giving less of a fuck. Or perhaps he’d had a cup of “mushroomy” tasting tea before writing it?

One track I would love to see one of Dare’s insane videos for would be the pulsating, almost Krautrock-like, ‘I Know Why You Cry At Adam Sandler Films’, which is not just the best song title in God knows how long, but also one of my favourite track on ‘Perseus War’.

For me, the most striking difference between ‘Perseus War’ and ‘Ulysses Trash’ is in the production department, where things, whilst remaining proudly DIY, have become ever so slightly less lo-fi. I’m not saying Des has gone full on Mutt Lange, but the drums and bass on tracks like ‘Perseus #1985’ ‘OUCH!’ and ‘BEACH!’ absolutely rattle the windows at RPM’s Newport Office, and on ‘Bloodbath-on-HI’ everything (and I’m sure there’s even the kitchen sink in there somewhere) comes together to unbridle one hell of a thunderous wall of sound.

Dare’s electronic influences return for album closer ‘STOP. STOP. STOP. TALKING’ and this track is what I’d imagine ‘Space Ritual’-era Hawkwind might have sounded like if they had ever joined forces with the Mael brothers from Sparks. It’s one truly fantastic headrush of a tune and the perfect way to end a record that is a most welcome distraction from what is going on in the world right now.

Released on 17th March you can pre-order your copy of ‘Perseus War’ via the links below. Tune in, turn on, and freak the fuck out, the Dare way!

Buy Here

Author: Johnny Hayward