Sherlock Holmes never quite got the soundtrack he deserved. As a detective in the gritty alleys of late-19th-century London, he immersed himself deep into the underground of social disturbance, robbery and violence in a time when a significant economic underclass was developing in one of the most populous cities in the known world. Surrounded by social tensions, racism, crime, prostitution, and rampant alcoholism, he threw himself further and further into the depths of gruesome, murderous crime scenes, searching for clues and reasonable deductions as to why these demented creatures of society would turn on their fellow kinfolk with such hatred and lust for life. Unlike what Robert Downey Jr. would like you to believe, his life was not filled with punchlines or horse-drawn buggy chases: Holmes was a disturbed mind and an eccentric; he was a mess on the inside—but what would one expect of a man who wallows in the filth of others and injects himself with cocaine, morphine and opium in secrecy.
Now take this picture of a brilliant man on the brink of internal collapse, traipsing through muddy back alleys of verminous filth and wrought in the tangled passageways of bleak and dreary 19th-century London and give it a modern score—what you may very well end up with is the sound of English rock band Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats.
With the recent release of their fourth studio album, Uncle Acid (aka frontman Kevin Ryan Starrs) and The Deadbeats continue to take their occult status deeper into the grim and chilly tunnels of nostalgia by dropping another concept-like album on their listeners, this time mirroring a more Sherlock Holmes-esque story of a shadow-stalking bogeyman known as The Night Creeper who indulges in the darker vices of life.
Massively influenced by the early years of heavy metal, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats take you on a demented ride through the dark and ominous landscape of their predecessors, such as Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden, with all the growling bass and sludgy aggression introduced to the world roughly 40 years ago. By giving you riff after riff of delightfully dark atmosphere, Uncle Acid can quickly and easily fill your lungs with the sweet aura of delirium and death. It’s conceptual horror at its best and it’s about to pillage Portland’s Wonder Ballroom on Sunday, September 27.
On this Sunday evening at the Wonder, things are going to get sonically spooky as Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats make their return to the U.S. for the second time and welcome Pennsylvania heavy psych rock bands Ruby the Hatchet and Ecstatic Vision to share the stage with them.
Ruby the Hatchet is known to lay down heavy, enveloping, atmospheric sounds with cataclysmic doom riffs and plenty of fuzz while like-minded Ecstatic Vision’s trance-induced haze of primal heavy metal and psych rock will do wonders to complement the eerie, overcast-themed evening. Although the night will be deeply laden with dark tones, it should be relatively safe enough to let Dr. Holmes rest at home peacefully with his own personal vices.