|Death Metal, Grindcore
November 22nd, 2011
Release length: 41:10
Dead does try to go with the common perception towards the audio quality for the style, and for this the band does a good job. The music here definitely sounds thick and crushing with an obvious bass-driven sound, with the bass guitar doing more to push the heavier atmosphere and make the sexual-based lyrical content sound as brutal as possible. While that instrument is the most obvious in the mix unless it has a solo, such as during “The Fineribber,” it does its job well against the more modern riffs. The guitars don’t sound like anything too special though, but when the band really goes into the old-school groovy Death Metal approach, the material can become a little more crushing. Even with some of the breakdowns or slam sections, you may not be too impressed but they are transitioned in well and do a good job at suiting where they are placed. This is put against drums that have a loud click, pounding snares that hit hard bu can be drowned out thanks to the guitar and dominant crashing cymbals. This all leads to a bit of a cluttered sound for Dead, as its clear the band is trying to incorporate the early sound of the style with a more modern Impaled approach, especially given the guttural vocals that are occasionally greeted with a rhaspy approach, and the fact that all three members of the band seem to contribute in this aspect.
But, what’s really surprising is how much pop culture ends up being included in this album, and its largely from two specific sources. There are some sound bites used from films here and there, but there’s a lot of South Park and Duke Nukem sound bites throughout the album. Hardnaked…But Dead even starts the album off with a track dedicated to a sound bite from the first of the two. It opens the album as if a normal movie in the theater with the production company logo and music playing, though its clearly audio from a part of an actual movie from the seventies or a similar rawer early production value, while Kyle’s dad screams and destroys what is meant to be the sound bite or logo and music that is playing before “The Fineribber” hammers in. The song has a good deal of intensity with tight music that moves at a faster pace that seems to be led along nicely by the snares and the click of the drum kit kicks nicely. The transitions in and out of the groovier passages to the more brutal ones are executed well, leading to a track that just sounds fluid from start to finish. It sounds great, though again we’re met with the slight comedic tone of the album with the higher pitched clean singing at the end of the song’s title before a united clanking of bottles, and a random belch.
But, in some cases, these samples can work to benefit the material and its atmosphere. What can be said about a song already named “Tits” that you won’t come to expect from it? The song’s dirtier sound and hard-hitting music that reeks of latter Carcass influence is just really catchy, and even allows the bass to shine through more than some other songs on here, with the exceptions of “The Fineribber” and its small bass solo. This song really introduces a lot of the Duke Nukem audio samples, including “Let’s rock” at the very beginning and “Come get some” a little past the half-way point of the song. The chorus itself also establishes the slight raunchy comedic aspect of the band with the high-pitched squeak of the word “tits” before layered over the gutturals. There’s also “Shut but Slim” that starts with another Duke Nukem quote that dates back to Scarface with the outburst of “Say hello to my little friend,” a fitting pun for the song’s lyrics and title. There’s also more South Park clips in this track from the “Eek! A Penis!” episode that spans the entire scene of chasing the escaped mouse with Ms. Garrison’s penis growing on it. And of course you can’t forget the clip in “Perfumes of Doom” with Kyle’s dad from the previously mentioned television series farting and smelling, with the clip being played a number of times through the slower, trudging song.
While the audio clips can really take things a bit too far, the songs are usually still good, and the whole thing is enjoyable despite the samples. However, “A Beer” becomes insanely irritating after a little while. It sounds like the audio sample was just taken from a Youtube video and is allowed to play through more of the song than necessary, and the high or drunk older male voice in the slip becomes more than annoying in a very short amount of time. This is similar to the aforementioned “Short but Slim,” but at least that track shows a little more restraint and tries to keep it in spots that make it fluid instead of just letting the clip roll from start to finish. Aside that, “Perfumes of Doom” isn’t the most inspiring of songs, taking a sort of Death Metal approach to what could easily be music you’d expect to hear behind a stripper. But, aside that, you also have to compete with the music of the album. Hardnaked…But Dead isn’t a bad or boring album, but the final product isn’t the most engaging. There are a few tracks, like outlined earlier, that actually do sound great and can get the listener’s blood pumping, but nothing that special outside of them.
What it all comes down to is that Hardnaked…But Dead is just a good album. With some tracks that are just far better than others on here, there’s only a few things that seem to hold the release back a bit, as well as the many pop culture references continuously made throughout the release. Other than that, there’s nothing too special about Dead‘s sixth offering, but you can really pick up on the varying influences within the group. If you’re looking for a safe album to throw in for a random spin or two, maybe on that shorter drive you have to make, than this hard-hitting album and the fun vibe it gives off thanks to all the audio samples are worth giving a shot.
01. Cock a Hoop – 0:25
02. The Fineribber – 4:14
03. Liquor Store Goddess – 6:01
04. Tits – 3:59
05. Wall of Flush – 3:03
06. A Beer – 2:51
07. Short But Slim – 3:22
08. Possessed Soldiers of Luv – 5:29
09. Perfumes of Doom – 5:31
10. Hardnaked but Dead – 6:15
|Overall Score: 7/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by FDA Rekotz via Clawhammer PR.