Dead To Me

Dead To Me

Dead To Me

African Elephants

Fat Wreck Chords

Dead To Me’s debut 2006 release, Cuban Ballerina, was a loose yet listenable brew comprised of the new band’s previous ancestry — meaning that of Western Addiction and One Man Army. Simply put, punk rock that had a fuzz-filled melody, slapped atop a foundation thick with hardcore aggression. It was a starting point, but the band (now a trio, with the One Man Army half of the band taking some time off) has hit its stride with African Elephants.

Approaching punk music with the same open heart and open ears approach that The Clash was famous for, what they offer up may be dubbed “punk rock” — and with straightforward aural assaults like “Modern Muse,” “Nothin Runnin Through My Brain,” and “Liebe Liese” the label is a snug fit — but they also make stops in soundscapes that would feel familiar to Tom Petty (“Cruel World”), Desmond Dekker (“X”), and Nirvana (“Blue”). Taking a big, bold step into the waters of calypso, “California Sun” is a stand out track as much for its sweet, summertime melody as its position as a red flower in a field of green. Lyrically it’s about screwing up a relationship but not really caring that it’s over, but musically it just makes you wanna frolic in the ocean and leave your troubles on the shore. They’ve spun a captivating vibe filled with sunshine, hot sand, and frothy waves.

Not since Red Hot Chili Peppers’ By the Way has a California band whipped up an album with such a broad interpretation of punk rock. This San Francisco band, led by bassist/vocalist Chicken and guitarist/vocalist Nathan Grice, is for music connoisseurs whose iPod playlists are genre-less.

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