Album Review – The Dead Love – The Extinction of Unicorns

A voice of gravel, cigarettes and beer…

 Check

A sound similar to Bush, Silverchair and Violent Soho…

 Check

Music that punches you in the face and leaves your heart pumping irregularly…

I speak of The Dead Love’s new album ‘The Extinction of Unicorns’. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past year – I’ll catch you up to speed. The self appointed “shitty grunge” lads from Sydney Australia have SOLD OUT an Australian headline tour, signed to US label Adventure Cat Records, been announced on BigSound festival, landed supports for Basement, DZ Deathrays, Stand Atlantic and The Story So Far – while also finding time to drop a rip-snorter album and its only August!

The dead set legends even gave me the chance to chat over a few messages and let me know that the majority of these songs are a series of events carrying out the last five years of their lives (Geez). After listening to the album infinite times, its hard to fathom how much emotion was bottled up without exploding. In saying that, The Extinction of Unicorns explodes with raw emotion, head banging grunge and a snarl that will have you looking for a Butter Menthol quicker than you can say, “I hate that everyone’s the f*king same“.

The record kicks off with YOUNG AND DYSFUNCTIONAL and when I say “kick off”, I’m clearly underselling it. This track was repeated five times before it even crossed my mind that there was a whole album to get through. It has the perfect tempo, a belt out chorus and still manages to leave you gasping for air in the second half with a repeating verse that sings, “Tell me what you want, Tell me what to say“, followed by the dustiest growl that will have you searching for the repeat button. What an entrance and a great way to start the album off!

The following three tracks on the album (including SUGARCOAT) were the three that attracted me to The Dead Love. WAKE UP even featured in my Triple J hottest 100 votes last year – a heavy hearted song about an ugly breakup turning physical, and how some friends stayed silent, even while others spoke up. Making you feel lyrics like, “When in denial it’s hard to see the forest through the trees, An act of violence, An ugly thing we all witnessed so Wake up, wake up,” right down to the core- actual chills. (If you’ve been impacted by things like this, You can always call Lifeline on 13 11 14.)

Track Six PICK ME UP was set free before the album release, so I had plenty of time to sop it up. It focuses on self doubt, anxiety, depression and for someone, if anyone… to ”pick me up”. After sneaking this track onto the Gold FM Classic hits playlist at work, it quickly became known as our pick me up song. Even my 60 year old boss snaps his neck to this belter with Stevie Knight’s rusted voice box echoing through the track.


The second last song of the album is WAYNE and is by far the most heart crushing. After detecting those sad shattering lyrics, I reached out to the band and later discovered it to be about front man Stevie Knights father passing. While it must have been tough on him, Stevie still took the time and gave us an insight about the situation with him stating,

Wayne is a very literal song about my dad loosing his battle to cancer and how much of an impact it had on myself and my family. I reference him as “my friend” because that’s the relationship we had. He was more then just my father figure.
Years have passed and still I can’t believe it’s real. Lyrically this was hands down the hardest song I’ve ever written. I was literally by his side when he stopped breathing.

With Wayne’s passing, he lives on in this song and continues to impact each and every listener. I’m sorry for your loss and I truly appreciate and thank you for your time and insight.


Last but not least is my number one track of the album Tunnel Vision – filled with a chorus that I’ve yelled at the missus and child repeatedly. Bassist Clint Ossington slaps through-out the verses setting the pace while Drummer Miles Cochrane kicks the absolute shit out of those drums.

Again, The Dead Loves pain and torture is our reward with Stevie giving us the details,

”Tunnel Vision is about this relationship I was in so it was written in hindsight after we broke up.. hence the title. At the time I was so emotionally invested, but it seemed the more I gave the more they pushed away. In the end I’d lost all concept of reality and was completely lost. Kinda when you hear people say the cliche “I lost who I was” yup that was me!
I didn’t/couldn’t leave my bedroom paranoid of an awkward encounter and having to put on the fake brave face on”.

Someone hug this man, he’s been through it. If I get the honour of catching up with you, I’ll shout the box of piss.

This is my ALBUM OF THE YEAR at this point and personally I can’t see it getting pipped (unless TDL drop two albums in a year). I recommend this to anyone who’s going through some shit, just wants to scream or someone that wants to kick their backyard party up to an 11. If you want the opportunity to grab a ticket to a Dead Love show – they will be touring around Europe and the UK this September/October. If you can’t make the flight grab yourself this beaut album and help the cause. You will not be disappointed.

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