London Slowcore band Deathcrash deliver on beautiful and fragile second album ‘Less’.

The band, already known for their mastery of minimalism and quietness, take this approach to new extremes on this incredible new collection.

Photo: Kaye Song | Words: Joshua Tubb

‘Less’ is the latest album from Deathcrash, a band that has been making waves in the indie rock scene since their critically acclaimed 2022 album, ‘Return’. Initially intended to be a short EP, the album quickly grew into a full-length project that saw the band refining their sound and songwriting to create something truly special.

It shows its tranquillity from the first track to the last, guided by lead singer Tiernan Banks’ range of vocal techniques. On the third track, ‘Duffy’s’ Banks sings softly with delicate beauty reminiscent of Elliott Smith. However, ‘Empty Heavy’ unleashes a more aggressive style that blends seamlessly with the band’s reserved sound. This demonstrates Banks’ ability to move from gentle and fragile moments to intense and powerful ones, adding depth and diversity to the album’s overall sound.

The album is a departure from their previous works, with a focus on emotional weight and songwriting over atmospheres. As Banks explains, “The mission statement was to be super minimal, just simple and beautiful guitar parts and to be really bare. To be…less.” The result is a record that is as powerful and potent as it is tender and introspective, with arrangements that manage to feel refined yet detailed and with a deep emotional resonance at the core of the record. On the final track of the album ‘Dead, Crashed’ this concept is pushed furthest to excellent effect.

Despite this inclination to a deeper minimalism than ever before, the band found themselves in a grand location, recording in the UK’s most remote recording studio in the Outer Hebrides. This setting, met with the talents of producer Ric James and longtime collaborator and artist Kaye Song, who created all of the videos, photographs, and design for the album on-site and in response to the environment, helped to create a record that has a raw vulnerability while remaining refined and cohesive.

The album is also a reflection of a period of change for the band, with personal issues altering their lives significantly. As bassist Patrick Fitzgerald explains, “When you navigate a period of loss, and musically reflect that via explorations of doing less, then often something is gained along the way. Losing something or letting go of weight makes you lighter. You become less, but there is finally space for more.” Transcending its themes of pain, sadness, and loss, the record ultimately reflects unity and growth. Mirroring this symbolic process, the band themselves are evolving to cement a distinct and innovative sound.