Local Man Dies is an indie rock band that Infectious melodies, soaring vocals, ceaseless enthusiasm and vibrancy. That much is certifiably clear after listening to just one minute of their single “Cilice”. Taking into account the addictive quality of the band’s brand of rich alt-rock, one could reasonably expect a catchy song without substance, meant to spend a sunny day driving with. Local Man Dies successfully avoid this trap; the track, is one boasting consistent catchiness while also incorporating a delectable combination of continuity, depth, and progression. Trying to avoid superficiality while remaining stylistically captivating can be a tough task, but not for Local Man Dies.
They toy with a complex arrangement, intricate guitar runs, and building percussion, while vocally featuring heartfelt lead pipes, sweet harmonies, and raucous choruses. They pay close attention to detail, filling up every sonic space. This complete command over their craft really sets Local Man Dies apart, resulting in the kind of record that grabs you at first listen and becomes more meaningful every time through. It seems like the band is on a path to make music you won’t immediately forget, and that’s a plus.
The song about a man who becomes a werewolf, and the struggle between his loss of inhibitions and the consequences that come with that, upon his transformation, was initially written in 2018, by the group’s lead vocalist and guitarist, Spencer Hamilton.
The track’s title alludes to the wolf’s hide as the scratchy hair shirt, known as cilice, worn as a self-imposed punishment or penance. Meant for a Halloween release last year, the deadline was missed, so Local Man Dies got down to reworking the song in time for this Halloween. And they have done so as a fully-fledged 4-piece unit.
Local Man Dies which initially got started in 2017 by Spencer Hamilton on guitar and lead vocals, now comprises John Wasson on drums and harmony vocals, Jonny Muhl on guitar and harmony vocals, and Jamie Stafford on bass. The song remains buoyant through the layers of guitars that pile up because the band fully commits to keeping the rhythm section driving throughout the song.
What Local Man Dies really does have going for them is solid musicianship. These guys can definitely play their instruments and Spencer is a strong singer. “Cilice” is a belter, starting out with gentle chimes before front-man Spencer caresses it with his almost effortless vocals. The drums soon follow and we’re in full swing, a song brimming with energy and everything perfectly falling into place.
Throughout “Cilice”, Local Man Dies offers an extra dimension both lyrically and musically, rarely seen in their contemporaries. The resulting single is a profound yet effervescent journey, rich in atmosphere and texture, where repeated listens reveal all of the band’s sonic charms.
The name, Local Man Dies, is meant to be a tongue-in-cheek headline, “something memorable to pass on when we’re gone from the world,” explains the band. Listening to “Cilice”, I think their music should be enough to leave behind a memorable legacy.