Dead Low Tide

Dead Low Tide

Dead Low Tide

Tiger Style

I know I said it before in my Blood Brothers review, but, for me, punk/hardcore has been a dead genre for a few years now, especially with the even more homogenized and panderific music being passed off as “punk” these days. One of the few acts of this genre to muscle its way into my music collection was The Murder City Devils. Their noir-ish teenage horror stories set against grainy Faces of Death gutter rock and the most sinister organ outside of an abandoned funhouse was actually something to get excited about.

Dead Low Tide is one-half of the post-breakup Devils, and I’m sad to say that one of the casualties has been the organ. godheadsilo’s eight-string (!) bass player Mike Kunka was brought in to provide the band’s new hook, but unfortunately it just doesn’t pay off. Songs like “Barrel Vault” and “White Flag” sacrifice the reedy, creeping fog feel of The Devils for full-bore bludgeoning bloodlust. It really comes down to a swapping of The Devils’ tongue-in-cheek smirk for over the top absurdity.

Likewise, vocalist Spencer Moody’s lyrics have strayed from drunken, black-hearted emoting into very abstract, obtuse territory. Take a look at this verse from “Purple Crimson and Lavender”: “We were born into a world of mucky muck and filth and slime / yet the Vivian Girls stay almost pure / and they carry guns / guns with bayonets.” Even more perplexing is “Don’t Mind If I Do,” with its lyric copped from a Ralph Wiggum valentine. I’m a little unsure if I’m laughing with the band or at them.

I don’t mean to come down as hard on this album as it might seem. Dead Low Tide put on just as scary of a horror show as The Devils did. On tracks like “Lazer Lazer Love” and the intro to “Blues Come Easy,” when Kunka’s bass is used for its coaxing textures rather than as a blunt instrument, Dead Low Tide have a depth The Devils lacked. But, man, I still miss that organ…

Tiger Style Records: http://www.tigerstylerecords.com/

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