Death & Taxes

Tattooed Hearts & Broken Promises

Written by: PP on 30/05/2008 01:41:55

Death & Taxes is the new project by the former street punk act The Bruisers frontman Jeff Morris, which was also home to the current Dropkick Murphys singer Al Barr for many years. While I\'m not familiar with any material by that band, based on their description and the fact that 77% of Death & Taxes listeners have also listened to The Bruisers on Last.FM, I\'d say that Morris is continuing along the same lines on \"Tattooed Hearts & Broken Promises\", albeit leaning a bit more against traditional rock and roll than punk rock.

Musically, you can hear that Death & Taxes have taken impressions from punk bands like Social Distortion, and then injected a lil\' bit of country to slightly distance themselves from the punk scene. The end result is ten worry-free rock and roll songs which stroll about at a casual pace without a hurry to go anywhere. Because if Morris is concerned, Death & Taxes are alright taking the whole day to reach their goal in each song - to gradually mood shift the listener from stressful to calm and chilled out.

The riffs are dirtily distorted, not in the southern way, but in the old school rock and roll way. This gives the songs some true Alabama-esque redneck attitude, which here isn\'t a denotation as much as it is a connotation. Morris\' voice is full of feeling through the record; one could even argue he sounds soulful in the midst of the limitless rock and roll spectrum that the band situates itself in.

Now that\'s something a lot of bands are able to do by default. Writing enjoyable songs that stick to your mind is much harder. Take \"Hide From Good\", for instance, which packs together a similar memorable vocal/riff dynamic that Pearl Jam fans should easily recognize. The song isn\'t overly complex, but because of the attitude and the rock\'n\'roll sound, it sounds much deeper than it is.

But still, it\'s difficult to think of Death & Taxes as anything else than a pub band. \"Tattooed Hearts...\" has its good moments, but the question is, can you imagine the band doing something else than playing at your local bar/pub? Though similarities to bands like Gaslight Anthem are great in number, Death & Taxes still lacks a vital point: the ability to connect to the listener on more than a nostalgic level. The album is an enjoyable listen, but only on the background level. You wouldn\'t mind it being played while having a few pints at a bar, but it\'s just not something you\'d be trawling your playlist for. In summary, \"Tattooed Hearts..\" is an enjoyable rock and roll album with attitude and straightforward riffs, but the songs aren\'t memorable enough to appeal to most audiences.


Download: Orange Lines, Hide From God
For the fans of: The Bruisers, Gaslight Anthem, Pearl Jam
Listen: Myspace

Release date 02.06.2008
I Scream Records
Provided by Target ApS

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