A part of Derby’s ’00s music scene re-surfaced today as Dead Apprentice, part of the melodic hardcore scene in the city at the time, posted their demos online.
The band have not been together in more than 10 years but guitarist Darren Burns, who also played in Cypher’s Dawn, shared tracks on YouTube over the Easter Weekend. The tracks shared so far – Demo 1, Never Forever, Infinity and Counting, and It Comes And Goes – hear a band in their infancy influenced by Far, Deftones and Smashing Pumpkins, the generation of musicians in the city who were influenced by the alt rock bands of the ’90s such as Cable and Gorilla.
A four piece – alongside Burns were vocalist Michael Reek, bassist Claire Jackson, and drummer Lyndon Baker – their sound was somewhat echoed by many others at the time – the melodic hardcore sound a pre-curser to the sanitised and more inward-looking emo genre which was yet to come. Taking a raw vocal style lyrically they were closer to the likes of Perfect Circle than bands who later epitomised emo such as Dashboard Confessional, although melodically they are drawn from the same pool.
It’s hard to keep count of the number of local bands who rise briefly and burn fast, perhaps only remembered by a few who were frequenting the scene at the time or playing in bands alongside them, but each has added a piece to our cities rich musically history whether by way of a major label contract or a couple of demos recorded in the practice room.
Dead Apprentice fall into the latter camp – no full recording was ever released although an EP was recorded, at least partially at Dubrek – but the posting of the demos may suggest that even after a decade away there may yet be a spark of life in this local band.
Live photograph by N Barker.