So what happened to rock n’ roll? You know, ROCK N’ ROLL! I’m not talking about all those variations and sub-genres. I’m not talking about those rumblings we’ve heard out of Brooklyn and San Francisco over the last few years. I’m talking no frills and no gimmicks; no niche-filling glamour duds spitting on college townies in the front row of some lousy vomit-stained punk venue that paid with their mom and dad’s hard-earned cash to get into see them. As BRMC once sang, “Whatever happened to my rock n’ roll?” Fort Wayne-by-way-of-North Manchester’s The Dead Records have been asking the same question for a few years now and have answered their own question(as well as BRMCs) with the release of their new self-titled LP. That answer is that it’s alive and well and ready for your undivided attention.
The Dead Records have been putting out stellar punk-infused rock music for a few years now. Their last album Rabbitsfoot seemed to be a step in the right direction as far as them finding a balance between earnest, heart-on-their-sleeve rock and punk rock bravado. On their new seven song long player it seems there’s a darker, more urgent vibe in the songs; as if it’s now or never. It’s a genre-defying confection of fist-pumping, heart-racing rock. Small town ruts turned into big dream anthems. After the opening instrumental “Intro”, “Better Yet” blows open the doors with bombast and purpose. Big drums, vocals, and guitars don’t let up. “Calender” continues to keep the momentum going before “Hooks” comes in lamenting before some amazing vocal harmonies come in to makes the track soar. “Don’t Wait Up” is a classic pop punk track, while “I Want Your Money” barrels through its 2:40 time like a freight train. Album closer “Help Me See” is an excellent nugget of pop to end this great album on.
The Dead Records’ guitarist, friend, and brother-in-arms Chad Briner passed away suddenly a month before the release of this album. The Dead Records is a testament to the memory of Chad. It’s also a glimpse of what these guys have in store for us in the future. You want to know what happened to rock n’ roll? Go snag a copy of The Dead Records and hear for yourself.