Rock music that shimmers with the eloquence of indie? Indie music that captures all the infectious qualities of pop? Pop music that has been hanging around the folk scene too long? Folk music hankering to be part of the alt-rock set? Who knows? Who cares? All that matters is the fact that The Dead Bolts are great at merging genres into their own signature sound, one that ticks lots of different boxes in many different scenes and styles.

And the art of such genre-hopping, sonic gene-splicing moves is the ability to fuse different tones and textures, approaches and outlooks into a new, cohesive whole but do so in a way that feels natural. All too often such fusions end up sounding like the musical equivalent of a sonic Frankenstein’s monster, the result of weird and illicit experiments in late-night studio labs, ungainly, awkward, falling apart at the seems and out of step with reality.

The Dead Bolts are deft enough to swerve such obvious traps. What Gives is all the proof you need, a song with broad appeal, with myriad complementing and conflicting sounds and untold sonic pleasures but woven together with such precision and effortlessness that you can’t even see the join.


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