Dead Days Beyond Help is Alex Ward (guitar/vocals) and Jem Doulton (drums). They formed in late 2006, and played their first show in February 2007. Initially, for Alex DDBH was a band in which he could incorporate elements of all the areas of music he'd been involved in, and the band's name was chosen in part to reflect this (in its deliberate re-use of words from his previous albums/bands Hapless Days, Help Point and Alex Ward & The Dead Ends). At this stage, the basis of DDBH's repertoire was a set of mainly instrumental compositions Alex had written for the duo, and their live performances combined this material with songs (both Alex's own and covers) and improvisation. This era of the band is represented by the studio album "ACCESS DENIED!" (recorded 2007, released 2009), which contains their first batch of composed material, and the live CD-R "UNWRITTEN RULES" which compiles improvisations and cover versions from various occasions between 2006 and 2009.
As the band progressed, it became clear that DDBH's most distinctive features and greatest potential for development lay far more in the interaction between Ward and Doulton as musicians than in any connections the band's material had to Alex's previous projects. This was reflected in greater time devoted to improvisation in both rehearsals and live performances, and also in an investigation of the possibilities of collaborative composition. This period yielded the entirely improvised studio album "THE VERBING" (recorded 2008, released 2011) and the band's second composed album "THE GAME FACE" (recorded 2009-10, released 2013), which features both several new pieces by Alex and the first compositions to be written jointly by Alex and Jem.
Since mid-2009, all of DDBH's new material has been written by Ward and Doulton together in band rehearsals. This material was recorded for a new album at the end of 2012, with overdubbing and mixing competed during the early months of 2013. The resultant album, "SEVERANCE PAY" is scheduled for release in April 2014. In the meantime, DDBH's live performances (which are performed without a set list and structured entirely according to the musicians' whims of the moment) continue to offer an unpredictable mix of increasingly complex composed instrumentals, free improvisation, cover versions selected for maximum emotional resonance (Hank Williams continues to be a touchstone), and one or two of Alex's own songs, on the rare occasions when he can bear to feel his own loathsome words crawling out of his mouth.
Stream and buy "The Game Face" by Dead Days Beyond Help here
Stream and buy "The Verbing" by Dead Days Beyond Help here
Stream and buy "Access Denied!" by Dead Days Beyond Help here