Whoa baby, look out! The hype machine has been working overtime for Deadsy, and it’s hard to look anywhere without seeing a picture of these guys, hailing them as “the next big thing.” I can see why some might think these guys will be big; they play power pop with 1980s synth stylings, the singer sounds just like Marilyn Manson, and their songs are easy to follow. Commencement takes the listener through a gothic journey of fun and sing along songs, all in the name of minor chords and sadness.
One of the easiest ways to summarize Commencement would be to imagine that Marilyn Manson (the singer) joined up with the members of Bauhaus (minus Peter Murphy) and tried to play modern rock. It would probably sound kind of cool, but it might seem contrived at the same time. “Winners” sounds very much like later Bauhaus stuff, as does “Mansion World,” thanks largely in part to the synthetic drums and Atari 2600 bleeps, straight from 1983. Most of the album features such overplayed ’80s relics, causing them to become nothing more than silly notions by the middle of the record. My favorite track here has to be the very well done cover of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer.” It rocks very hard and it strays little from the original. If I were in Deadsy’s promotional team, I’d have that thing released and all over the radio waves. Orgy made a name for themselves playing the same kind of music, breaking big off of a cover song, so why can’t Deadsy? These guys do a fantastic job with the song, and I must say that I like this guy’s voice way better than Geddy Lee’s!
So, Commencement is contrived and relatively corny, but I think that the record buying public will eat this up, big time. I really did enjoy a handful of the songs, while I could have done without the rest. This could have been a stellar five-song EP.