I’m going to tell you about what I would describe as a “work in progress band” who I have been working with for some time and recently started to notice them produce some really good work. This versatile band can write the perfect heart-wrenching mellow ballad and follow it up with an equally as good upbeat foot-stomping rock tune without twitching.
The Loaded Dice are a song-powered quintet from a little town called Dolgellau in North Wales. I first came across them when I championed them in a national band competition whilst judging on a panel a couple of years ago. These guys went off down to London to win the competition but ended up turning down the contract they were offered at the end of it – so punk rock! I don’t know the ins and outs of why they declined but it’s easy to read between the lines here. This to me said that THEY CARE about the direction of the band and I’m sure it was a very wise decision that they will not regret. In my opinion always choose QUALITY CONTROL OVER MONEY and you stand to build a long lasting career. The Loaded Dice know where they want to go and they are the sort of band with awareness that they are the artists and are going to keep full creative control. That’s what I like about them, THEY DO THINGS THEIR OWN WAY.
With such natural emotion in his voice it’s probably a common recommendation that Stonie (vocalist/writer) gets to “go on the X-Factor” but this is far too good for that and I’m glad they’ve chosen to take the more organic journey with their art rather than trying to compete their way to a manufactured stardom. He can write good songs and if it keeps improving this will be another case of Wales making it’s stand for having the most naturally blessed vocalists in the world. Not everything they do is great but there are elements of something which makes me want to sift through the mediocre tracks for the good stuff on their demo’s, which I always see them handing out FOR FREE at gigs (not just at their own shows). This is a band who are driven.
Another Kick At Old Lovers caught me off-guard first with some nice chord changes and the chorus jumped in with such a dynamic lift that it left me reeling for the next one during the second verse. The vocal performance has some nice changes in mood and I love the overall range it has.
Now, have a listen to this next one!
Blood On The Floor is a waltz ballad that benefits from a fitting string arrangement which will tug your heart in all different directions. The instrumentation is minimalist with only vocals, guitar and strings present, which puts maximum emphasis on the song itself. I would think about changing the arpeggio part on the intro though as it is too closely related to Hallelujah.
When the vocal enters it is hypnotizing and the guitar part elaborates changing to something more interesting. It has the same sort of power as Bridge Over Troubled Water as the vocal is so perfect because of it’s human flaws and now I can’t stop hitting repeat! It’s beautiful and makes me want to cry in places – you can feel the pain. Each time “there’s blood on the floor” is sang with a new level of intensity. Then as we drift in to the chorus the rising chords against the melody heighten your emotions. The short pause after the first chorus combined with the drawn out vocal as the next note is sang takes you into the second verse so eloquently. The lyrics contain great imagery with reference to “I’d rather lick my wounds over you than be a picture of health on my own”. These lyrics are accessible and a listener is able to make sense of this song and relate it to their own real life situation. The slight discordant pull in the melody when the note bends on the outro line brings you back to earth.
This isn’t fully loaded and ready to go yet but it has huge potential to make a dent in the British music scene. If they get the right support behind them, there are some songs here that could produce a stadium-filling band.
You can hear more of their music here…
It’s a bit of a way off yet but you can see these guys back in Manchester at Dusty Pop’s new night, The Lock-In @ Dry Bar on Sat Dec 11th where they will be promoting the release of their upcoming album “Keep The Demons In The Box”. Come and join us 🙂