Dead Country - EP
Release Date: April 13, 2010
Record Label: Storefront Recordings
Making an impression with four songs is never easy. Right as you get settled in and begin to finally bite into the beans & rice of a musical burrito, Dead Country's matter-of-fact-titled EP, um, EP, is pulled away from you like an overanxious Taco Bell table-cleaning food-snatcher. The Northern California quartet has you right where they want you, however - now that you've enjoyed the tiny bite you managed to retrieve before it was over quicker than a post-prom night love affair, you want more where that came from. And there's the rub...
You see, EP's are tricky. They only give you a small dose of what to anticipate, so upon further inspection, it's always tough to know what you're getting into. On paper, it all sounds delicious: recorded in the Foo Fighters' studio, the band mixes indie rock styles that Jawbreaker & Far perfected and then add a splash of modern punk rock aggression like the Bronx or Against Me! But hey, you just want to know if it all sounds groovy, am I right?
To be frank, it's not half-bad. It's a good start into something that could seriously take off and sound stunning through a big set of speakers. It's bass-heavy Jawbreaker-meets-Sex Pistols grit with a pinch of humbling indie rock fervor that might not be as well-versed as some of the idolized frontmen - but lest we forget this is only day one; the Garden of Eden has yet to sprout a weed, let alone an apple tree full of serpents.
"Euro Thrash" and "Sea Change" are very much in the Never Mind the Bollocks, It's Jawbreaker vein mentioned above, but "The Shade" is reminescent of early Jimmy Eat World. It will be mighty interesting to hear where the band takes this not-yet-firmly-established sound in the future. The guys are lucky to have John Lousteau (Stone Sour) produce this and with a loyal backing from L.A.'s influential KROQ, expect nothing short of big things from these guys. Already alumni of tours featuring Sunny Day Real Estate and Far, Dead Country's combination of '90's hard-edged indie rock and modern punk will definitely give your ears the late-night munchies come 2011, when the band is sure to etch their name into the modern rock scene.
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