After two guitarists, five drummers, four broken bones, two crushed wrists and a van wiped out by a truck, it’s a miracle that Dead! have made it to a debut album.
Live performances have attracted their loyal fanbase over the past five years, so live recording each track off their debut album, ‘The Golden Age Of Not Even Trying’, released on January 26, is one of the best choices these four boys could have gone with. The energy their performances bring is reflected well on the album, so if you haven’t heard of them, you surely will soon.
With their DIY attitude, since forming in 2012 the quartet have toured Europe, moved to London, released their own music via and made their own videos before being signed to Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) records.
Described by the band as a “record about life and growing pains”, the album straddles a number of genres.
The eclectic mix of rock, punk and indie is surprisingly the thing that makes it work so well.
The lead single off the 12-track album, ‘Enough Enough Enough’, can only be described as organised chaos within a song. The prominence of guitar paired with frontman Alex Mountford’s unique voice give the lyrics ‘why am I so afraid of you,’ a bouncy twist with a beat that just makes you want to get up and dance.
‘You’re So Cheap’ is perhaps the most recognisable to the band’s fans. The slow build up gives well-deserved attention to Mountford’s vocals and appears takes inspiration from noughties alternative rock band My Chemical Romance, of which they have been compared to a number of times.
‘Jessica’ is the stand out song of the album. It slows things down a bit but works as the album’s anchor and ties everything together.
The live recording of the album allows the emotions to seep through and the thoughtful lyrics show a softer side to the gung-ho attitude of the members, as well as giving a sense of nostalgia of the 90s rock songs that are so often belted out on club nights.
‘The Golden Age of Not Even Trying’ takes fans on a journey, from 2013 to when the band’s beloved tour van was hit by a 44-ton truck on the way to a gig, to now when they’ve established an identity the fans can be a part of and is part of every song.
‘Conversation With Concrete’ is the song you’ll find yourself going back to after a few listens. The catchy chorus lends itself to a sing-along and it’s the track you’ll find yourself humming to yourself with no idea that you even knew it that well.
When followed by the punky sound of ‘Any Port’, you can be guaranteed that a mosh pit will be started somewhere. The upbeat chorus almost forces you to start jumping around, the prevalence of guitars giving it an undeniable sense of movement perfect for listening to at a gig.
Finishing with ‘Youth Screams & Fades’ is a slower song that ties the album off nicely. The integrated spoken lyrics give the song an edge and confirms to those listening that Dead! have produced an album that kicks the idea of a studio-recorded record into the dirt.