So back to the hard-hitting edgy music I listen to every day when off to work with the debut album from the band Dead!. I heard about this band on a random search on the Kerrang music channel and was blown away by their sound. That was back in 2016, and I have been waiting to hear their new album.
For me, The Golden Age Of Not Even Trying was definitely worth the wait. It reminds me why punk rock/rock is one of the best types of music out there. It was produced by Charlie Russe at Dean Street Studios in Soho London.
Let’s begin with the opening tracks “The Boys + The Boys“, which is about how you act when out drinking with the boys. However, with the driving bass in the verses and great chorus line “From the grit between my teeth / This isn’t me / This isn’t me / This isn’t me“, it really works brilliantly and as I said, with the bass it really put this across and would be great to hear live.
On “Enough, Enough, Enough“, we really get into the hard-hitting rock with everything sounding grippy and really old school fast paced punk. This song talks about having enough of life and wanting more, and with lead singer Alex’s emotional vocals really tipping this one over, plus the equally great solo adds another dimension.
Then, we get to the album’s title track “The Golden Age Of Not Even Trying“, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint with the chorus that you will be singing along a lot to. With the line “We can stay here and sing songs for better days We can stay here and we won’t fade away“, it will be in your in your head for days.
With the song being about a generation that doesn’t really try, this hits home with the lyrics, “we stay here and sing songs, we can stay here and we won’t fade way“, this really relate to where we are now.
“Jessica” takes a different direction with the band talking about seeing your ex with someone else. This comes with a more relaxed feel than the other tracks with lines like “I hope your old man’s back / Don’t give him pain / Although he scared the s**t right out of me, he was just doing it in your name” a lot of people would relate to this situation. This is the first time I was getting a My Chemical Romance vibe, it may have been Alex’s style of singing.
“Off-White Paint” sees the band talk about getting into a fight, and with the bass and drums sounding like a slow-motion walk to a boxing match, this is awesome to hear. Alex impressed and really carries the verses, while the chorus really gives a fight feel.
Guitar rules the way with “You’re So Cheap” and has a Soundgarden feel, with the guitar tone and with it being about being in a bad relationship. This is put across with the chorus line “I’ve got your ashtray, honey, to try to keep You from stubbing your smokes out on me“, it is another great song, and the guitars really punch through on this.
With “Petrol & Anaesthetic“, we get a song that you could hear in an early arctic monkey album with the opening riff give this off. It’s about seeing someone you care about with an asshole this is shown with the lyrics ‘Let me steal the show please He’s got nothing but sleaze’ but really change up the format in this album that it does this a lot.
Now, for what is, by far, my favorite track on the whole album, “Up for Ran$om“, which is a fast paced in-your-face fun song, even though lyrically, it is about someone using you. Alex’s vocals really sell this track for me and I could see a crazy mosh pit happening and headbanging when this song is played live.
We calm down with “W9“, with it feeling like a song you would play after a one night stand, remembering how good it was. The picky guitar riff helps with this, and lines like “You’ve got a hot head with your filthy vowels / There’s a disdain amongst your actions and the way you hold yourself” do too.
“A Conversation With Concrete” is more of the same of the other tracks. No doubt it a good song, it just isn’t their best on this album. The chorus is pretty solid, and it worth listening just for that. “In Any Port” has a catchy and fun riff, which I would really want to play, personally. It also has that MCR vibe in the chorus, that feels nice.
The album ends with “Youth Screams & Fades” which feels like an end ballad, with the chorus line giving off a so long fare well vibe. The soft to heavy guitar tones really work, and I love the big speech at the end of it, being a new way of thanking everyone who has helped the band out over the years.
Overall, I really think the band has a big future because this album is a really great listen. With the hard-hitting guitar riffs and playing, Alex’s emotional vocals and the vibe that this was recorded live and not in a studio, I think if you love punk or just straight up rock, you should check this out.
Purchase Dead! The Golden Age of Not Even Trying album on iTunes here.
Words by Stuart Irvine