Deadline: ‘Nothing Beside Remains’

Released on April 16, 2018 (Bad Reputation Records)

The album looked so promising with a cool mystery like cover with my favorite colour (purple). I listened to the song “Fire Inside” and it sounded pretty good so why not? I’ll post an article about the band’s new upcoming album Nothing Beside Remain. Shortly after (or maybe beforehand), I received two copies of Nothing Beside Remain, one from the band and I believe one from the label. Little could prepare me for what I was going to hear. I tried listening to the album. I couldn’t get through it. I took the CD out of my vehicle’s CD player. The songs were seemingly quite slow paced, all over the place and the singing was simply awful. I just put the album aside but I started getting e-mails from bassist Sébastien Debbane asking if a review was coming on Sleaze Roxx. Be careful what you wish for! My last reply to Debbane was that “my forthcoming review may feel ‘negative’ based on what I remember from listening to your album.” Debbane replied in part, “Try several listenings?.”

My first of “several listenings” didn’t fare well. I had to stop by about the sixth song. Lead vocalist Arnaud Restoueix‘s “nasal” like delivery with the French accent was too much to bear. I have a pretty high tolerance for subpar vocals but Restoueix‘s vocals simply annoyed the shit out of me. I couldn’t take them (and still can’t listen to him sing certain songs without cringing). In addition, the songs seemed all over the place with progressive, grunge like and hard rock elements. After a couple of other ill-fated attempts to listen to Nothing Beside Remains, I eventually forced myself to listen to the entire album and aside from the horrible vocals, which I have covered already quite a bit, the guitar tone seemed off and a bit clangy on some of the songs. As I listened to the record one more time for the purpose of this review, it sounded a lot better than my previous times listening to it but most of the songs were still at the “annoying” level.

The opening track “Devil’s In The Details” isn’t bad with a cool guitar riff and solo to open things up and the chorus portion with the melody is pretty good. If every song was as good as this one, the album would be passable but unfortunately, that is not the case. “D.O.C.” is awful with the lead vocals almost unbearable. “Fly Trap” starts off with some early Living Colour type guitar opening riff before the song starts imploding. Again, Restoueix‘s singing is so difficult to listen to and the song takes all these different turns. The ending to the track with the Jimi Hendrix like guitar experimentation at the end is awful to listen to. The title track sounded really promising at the beginning and is probably one of the best of a bad lot. The reason likely lies that its one the most straightforward hard rock song on the record. “Man On A Mission” has a pretty cool groove like guitar riff to start with but again Restoueix‘s vocals pretty much kill the song. “Natural Born Pimp” is definitely the best track on the record with an upbeat delivery throughout except for the guitar solos which inexplicably slow things down. A faster placed scorcher of a guitar solo would have been much more appropriate on that one.

Interestingly, the ballad “Silent Tears [November 13]” is the only song where Restoueix‘s vocals are tolerable and he isn’t seemingly singing from his nose. Restoueix actually sounds good when he sings the words “Silent Tears” for a long stretch before the early Iron Maiden like guitar solo kicks in. The vocal range adopted by Restoueix on “Silent Tears [November 13]” is what he should be focusing on for the next Deadline album assuming there is one. “Last Shot” is pretty good as it builds up slowly and is no doubt, one of the better tracks on the album. “Override” is a peppier number highlighted by some cool guitar riffs and that starts off with some rather cheesy lyrics with “Have you heard the news today?” The last three songs on Nothing Beside Remains are likely the three best on the album. It’s a shame that they are so far deep in the record because I couldn’t make my way through the entire album on a few occasions and missed those three tracks during those times. Had those three songs been at the beginning of the record, perhaps this review would have been slightly more positive? The slow paced album closer “Sleepless Nights” clocks in at less than two minutes and should have simply been omitted. It adds nothing to the record aside from some weird atmospheric ending. It’s kind of sad when one of the best parts of the album is the “bitchy” monologue from what I imagine is a sexy female on “Angry Destiny.”

With any band that I have never heard of, I often do “research” simply by plugging the band’s name in the “search” section of the Sleaze Roxx website to see if my predecessor Skid gave any coverage to the band in years past. I noted that Skid did review Deadline‘s Heading West EP and was pretty kind to the band stating that Restoueix‘s “fairly unique vocal delivery” has a “certain nasal quality to it” and “one that can be hard to digest.” Skid also didn’t bother criticizing one of the three tracks aside from stating “I’ll be kind and pretend it doesn’t exist.”

I understand why Debbane suggested that I have “several listens” of Deadline‘s new album Nothing Beside Remains. If you listen to something enough times, you’ll get used to the various deficiencies and may even start liking something that you really disliked at the beginning. That being said, I could listen to Deadline‘s Nothing Beside Remains one hundred times and I will never get used to or like Restoueix‘s French laced nasal like vocal delivery unless he adopts the singing range that he utilized on “Silent Tears [November 13].”

Track List:
01. Devil’s In The Details
02. D.O.C.
03. Fly Trap
04. Nothing Beside Remains
05. Mercenary
06. Man On A Mission
07. Angry Destiny
08. Natural Born Pimp
09. Silent Tears (November 13)
10. Last Shot
11. Override
12. Sleepless Nights

Band Members:
Arnaud Restoueix  – lead vocals
Gabriel Lect – guitar
Christophe Gatter – guitar
Sébastien Debbane – bass, backing vocals
Fabrice Trovato – drums, backing vocals

Mixed by Thierry Velly
Mastered by Brett Calda Lima

Band Websites:
Official Website

Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, August 2018

Deadline‘s first video teaser for Nothing Beside Remains:

First Teaser for the album Nothing Beside Remains

First teaser for DEADLINE’s second album to be released on April 16 2018 on Bad Reputation!Pre-order :…

Deadline‘s second video teaser for Nothing Beside Remains:

Second Teaser for the album Nothing Beside Remains

Second teaser for DEADLINE’s second album to be released on April 16 2018 on Bad Reputation!Pre-order :…

Deadline‘s third video teaser for Nothing Beside Remains:

Third Teaser for the album Nothing Beside Remains

Third teaser for DEADLINE’s second album out now!Order: