In an age when poseur-dom and affectation are all too readily mistaken for integrity and talent, the brass-heavy, altogether irresistible funk and soul of Belfast-based seven-piece The Dead Presidents serves as a hook-laden reminder that the best sounds never disappear - they just expand and meet the demands of time. A filler-free, four-track distillation of the band's increasingly celebrated, incomparably upbeat craft, Can You Dig It? is a debut EP that poses a question, the answer to which should never be in doubt.
Having steadily established themselves as the finest act of their kind in the country, the much anticipated launch of Can You Dig It? last month saw the Dead Presidents become only the third act in the history of Belfast's reputed Radar night to fully pack out the venue. This is a sure-fire indication of the band's ever-expanding legion of fans, a soul-bitten mass utterly smitten by the Dead Presidents' unmistakable shtick: finely honed rock n' roll bursting with a tangible sense of heart and soul, gloriously underpinned by badass torrents of brass and groove and masterfully propelled by front-man Matthew Wilson.
Live as well as on record, the suited and booted Dead Presidents boast a style and sound that is much more than the sum of their eclectic influences. With musicianship and showmanship in abundance (and "good times" very much at their core) the likes of the self-reflective swoon of 'It's Hard Being Perfect' and the downright celebratory ‘Dancing With The Devil' possess the power to tug a packed out room's collective heartstrings one moment and have hundreds of people completely submitting to the groove the next. Make no speculative bones about it: whilst borne from legendary precedents, Can You Dig It? is firmly rooted in the present day, its finely-honed musical "manifesto" defying regional comparison and inviting you to reacquaint yourself with something completely new.
Can you dig it?
1. Dancing With The Devil
2. It’s Hard Being Perfect
3. Trying So Hard
4. Fallin’ In Love Again
"With front-man Matt Wilson strutting and howling like an impossibly charismatic hybrid of Phil Lynott and James Brown, they woo tonight’s crowd with a hypnotic brass section and several groovy numbers. A complete revelation." - Brian Coney, AU Magazine
"Northern Ireland doesn’t see an awful lot of bands combining heavy funk with soul and rock, but The Presidents happily tick all the boxes" - Grace Loughrey, Chordblossom
"Bedecked in 60's suits, they deliver a set that is outrightly and undemandingly exciting. The music is tight, melodically and rhythmically sophisticated and adroitly performed. In a different place and time the band could have well be signed to Berry Gordy's Motown roster." - Eoin Duffy, Boost The Music