Per their official bio: “Audiences may be curious as they see five girls with X’s over their eyes set up on stage. But once the wall of sound washes over them, they are spirited away into the dark and magical world of The Dead Deads”. I couldn’t say it better myself, though I certainly tried in our review of their recent opening stint for Bush. After that experience I was looking forward to catching up with the band on record, but not expecting it to live up to their live show. Wrong again. The Dead Dead’s new “For Your Obliteration” is just as much of a head banging head trip.
Lots of your neo alt rock/grunge revivalist type bands nowadays (the ones that aren’t quite heavy enough to veer into stoner, sludge or doom territory) iron out all their endearing live kinks with studio sheen that that takes all the fist pumping concert sizzle out of their recorded steak. Not The Dead Deads though. With production help from Helmet guitar god Page Hamilton they’ve lost none of the garage grime which made them such an invigorating act in person.
Which is to say nothing of the songwriting chops these girls have, the pure addictive quality of female vocal harmonizing over fuzzy, distorted, certifiably metal guitar crunch calls back to a time when the likes of Veruca Salt, Juliana Hatfield and Tracy Bonham roamed the earth. The Dead Deads don’t stop at the 90’s though, there’s plenty of 80’s new wave sass and 70’s punk fury on display here too,
“Blackout” is a delicious stew of rolling basslines and Misfits-y “woah-ohs” and “heys”. “Murder Ballad” is a genuinely sweet and charming punk rock torch song with an edge in the Ramones vein, and the record’s high point (in my opinion, anyway) “Honeysuckle Sam” begins as a wistful, organ driven torch song (think Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Le Butcherettes) that whiplash inducing-ly Black Flags its way into a fast paced stomper of the most mosh ready variety. If this can’t make you smile you might actually be dead.
As an avid concert goer, I often say that the best way to discover new music is through paying attention to the opening bands. If you catch these guys live and love what you see and hear, don’t hesitate to pick up this record (and their back catalog too, “Organ P” is pretty much never not stuck in my head) and bring a little bit of their ass kicking live show home with you. The Dead Deads are for the 90’s nostalgia hound that likes plenty of dirt on their flannel and chucks.
“For Your Obliteration” is available now.