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With a history that goes back much further than my own life span, it's fair to say that Dead Moon have more than a fair bit of material behind them. Defiance is the latest album to be reissued through M'Lady Records and it is more important than you might think. We live in an era where everything is touched up: from photos to music, over-production and an obsession with perfection has taken control, and it is with much relief that one should listen to Defiance and be reminded that perfection is not and should not be the aim; ugliness can be just as effective.

It is a record that stands out in its honesty. It stands proud in being stripped-bare and naked, taking pride in its imperfections as it arrogantly staunches past with killer riffs that do not need to be enhanced with effects, and vocals that wretch and screech throughout and challenge you to question their power. The formula is expressively simple - guitar, bass and powerful drums with tough impassioned vocals - and it's a formula that works again and again with a strong DIY independence that strikes through everything they touch.

Dead Moon were formed by Fred and Toody, who married in 1967, and having both played in a myriad of bands beforehand, recruited Andrew Loomis to begin what would be their defining work. They began releasing their records in 1988 and from there on in never really looked back. The one rule was always simplicity. Famed for their live set that would be lit by a candle pushed into an empty Jack Daniels bottle, they had something that was effortlessly rock'n'roll and raw to them that still remains to be timeless in its delivery.

Defiance shines through with some of their best loved and most anthemic songs. It opens with the simple blues riff, before screeching 'Let's goooooo!" and blasts into a stomper of blues, rock'n'roll and energy. Throughout 'Milk Cow Blues', the stripped back hairiness of their sound shines through in its dirty brilliance, like light seeping through a dingy, smoke-filled basement. Fred screams out "you're going to miss me when I'm gone" and the fire and passion is only enhanced with the rawness and attack of his delivery.

Then there are tracks such as 'Crystal Is Falling' that twinkles in with a softer feel, but the attack and passion of Fred's vocals still takes centre stage as it emerges as a dirty anthem that speaks of blood, infected eyes, twisted glass and despair, it is incessantly beautiful. It gasps for breath as it seems Fred is reaching for help, and the pain is nothing short of naked and honest in all that it does.

'Dagger Moon' is another famous track that finds beauty in its darkness and despair, as it mourns "release me from your wire, Dagger Moon," pleading passionately to be let go. It just builds and builds, as it clutches at the heartstrings as the passion and pain evokes a sense of the last plea for forgiveness and surrender shivers all the way through.

'Walking On My Grave' is driven once again by a hard-hitting blues rock'n'roll that sounds vintage, but also contemporary as it screeches and then blasts through a leading riff that challenges a whole bunch of modern guitar bands who have obviously ripped-off this effect (cough- The Black Keys, Jack White- cough). It still saunters fourth in its confidence and proves to be one of the stand-outs on the album.

It is then over to Toody who takes over the vocals for the politically-driven, and angry to its core 'Johnny's Got A Gun' as she surges fourth "You've crushed the resistence before it's begun/ Silenced the voices who've dared to confront/ Laying your hands upon all that you rule/ Becoming the man who you overthrew." Powerful stuff, eh. Been a while since we heard lyrics as strong as that blasting through. It is once again a reminder of what Dead Moon were able to do and show how the simplicity of the set up means that the lyrics can sustain a power far stronger that something that is overly done-up.

'I'm Out Nine' is a fantastically short little number, clocking in at only 1:36, it sees Fred return to the forefront, backed up by only guitar and super-stripped back drumbeat, it takes their signature style to the extreme in how raw it is, but then allows 'Kicked-In, Kicked-Out' to do the honours in blasting back in with all its attitude.

The album is brought to a close with another short little anthemic number (not that any of the tracks on this album are particularly long, mind you). 'Unknown Passage' tells the story of leaving and having no idea where you'll end up. It's poetic and brings the album to a perfect close, as you end up not knowing where this album has taken you, but you know it has had the right effect.

Everything about this collection of songs is important. From the impassioned lyrics to the timeless guitar riffs and power of the delivery, it shows how it is important for bands not to get wrapped up in achieving 'perfection' and that ultimately the feel of the record and the passion of delivery will always shine through more than any over-dubbed layers of guitar effects.

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