Death In Vegas – Satan’s Circus (Drone Records)

Satan's Circus (w/ Bonus Live CD)

After three solid releases that garnered sales and acclaim in  England, but were met with indifference in America, Death In Vegas take a completely different approach on Satan’s Circus. The big beat electronica of their 1997 debut Dead Elvis, and the parade of big-name guest vocalists (Liam Gallagher,  Iggy Pop, Paul Weller, Hope Sandoval…etc.) of 1999’s career highlight The Contino Sessions and 2002’s Scorpio Rising are all gone. In their place is an all-instrumental krautrock sound built on electronic minimalism. While nobody can fault the band for trying something new, it’s hard to get excited by this lukewarm tribute to Kraftwerk and Neu!. When they did this kind of music in the early-’70s it was futuristic and exciting, but in 2005 there isn’t much meat left on the bones for Death In Vegas to pick at. Thus tracks like “Zugaga”, “Black Lead” and “Heil Xanax” come off like experiments in new-age monotony.

As if to show that the band weren’t fully confident in their new direction, Satan’s Circus comes with a second disc of songs from their first three albums played live in Brixton. While none of the guest vocalists are there (taped vocals are used) the songs are still strong enough to connect with listeners. Even those who already own the first three albums should still seek this out since most of the songs are reworked into dubby mixes for the live show. It’ll be interesting to see where Death In Vegas goes from here, but I’m hoping Satan’s Circus is a one-off experiment rather than an indication of things to come.


Disc 1:

  • “Ein für die Damen”
  • “Zugaga”
  • “Heil Xanax”
  • “Black Lead”
  • “Sons of Rother”
  • “Candy McKenzie”
  • “Reigen”
  • “Kontroll”
  • “Anita Berber”
  • “Head”
  • “Come on Over to Our Side, Softly Softly”

Disc 2:

  1. “Natja”
  2. “Leather”
  3. “Girls”
  4. “Death Threat”
  5. “Rekkit”
  6. “Blood Yawning”
  7. “23 Lies”
  8. “Flying”
  9. “Dirge”
  10. “Help Yourself”
  11. “Scorpio Rising”
  12. “Hands Around My Throat”