Todd Rittmann, infamous from his daze in U.S. Maple, is a guitar warrior with intensive craft at his fingertips. For the past five years, he’s been furthering his reputation by doing further damage with his instrument and others, and by spreading the carnage wide with Dead Rider (Matthew Espy – drums, White Christmas – bass/synth, and Todd Rittmann – guitar/vox/ harmonica). It’s all-out entertainment. Dead Rider move relentlessly around the borders of their sound, finding new textures throughout, which act as candy to our ears – future candy, like Day- Glo Good & Plenty in a variety of flavors approximating the savory taste of hair on flesh, the sweet smell of sub-gases and the ambivalence in the aroma of a cube of clear gelatin bombarded with micro-currents.
Sure, it’s rock and roll music, and it’s good fun – but Dead Rider isn’t happy unless Dead Rider is reconfiguring sonic relationships, imagining the sound of a rock band reshaped into a gleaming spectacle, indulging in silly glove songs, delirious business, sweat-swapped juvenile fantasias. Lurching from pole to pole, pausing mid-stop, leaping and bursting into a double-twist and then resolving into a sweet glide; the dust they kick up in this fracas glitters gold, spicing the recipe with elevated powders of perception, deflecting metallically, hip-hoptically, free and jazzy, operatic, electronic, flashing like squad-car rollers.