The 99 Degree - Love(Like I Need You)/Bed Of Bones: Single Review
Words: Danny Thornton
2019 sees the release of double A-Side Single Love(Like I need you)/Bed of Bones on Sour Grapes Records and with a slot at Kendall Calling confirmed the future is looking bright for the Manchester based purveyors of Garage/Surf Rock and Roll.
If two cowboys were going to have a shootout in Manchester and they roped Quentin Tarantino in to direct the carnage The 99 Degree would certainly be providing the soundtrack. Their seamless melding of spaghetti western atmospherics and psychobilly attitude help them to both fit in with Manchester's burgeoning underground scuzz rock scene while simultaneously creating their own sonic identity.
The two tracks on the single strike a different tone to previous release Boot Hill Surf Club (2017). Love (Like I Need You) immediately strikes a melancholy and foreboding tone. It starts with a reverb drenched guitar plucking away which sets the tone of the song, as do the "too much tequila" vocals and raucous drum and bass parts which help drive the song forward.
These guys are no strangers to dynamics and this track shows how they can pull everything back leaving just a guitar in parts and then have the rest of the band come crashing back in.
In particular I love the guitar solo which had a real cinematic feel to it due to the raucous playing of the rest of the band as well as the Lead Guitar itself, very cool stuff. Like previously mentioned the vocals have a real gritty charm to them which is another element that draws the listener in.
The second tune Bed of Bones is like the previous track drenched in that gorgeous reverb and possesses the same cinematic feel. However it defers by having more of a Ska influence especially in regards to the vocals, its faster paced but still has those great guitar passages which characterised the previous track and looses none of the aforementioned melancholy.
Although sonically the songs have their own individual character, lyrically they fit together within the context of the single nicely, with both of the songs delving into lost love and wasted days in a drunk and poetic vain. It's also worth mentioning that both of the songs are excellently recorded and the playing is top notch.
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