Dead To Me

Moscow Penny Ante

Written by: PP on 26/11/2011 18:46:45

For their third album "Moscow Penny Ante", San Franciso's Dead To Me have opted to take a few steps backward and return to the sound of their debut album "Cuban Ballerina". Their previous album "African Elephants" had otherwise moved the band into the direction of ska and reggae ever so slightly, with laid back instrumentation and chilled out tempo characterizing the album as a whole. In contrast, "Moscow Penny Ante" makes that album seem like a failed experiment, as Dead To Me all but erase the influences that shaped that record by returning to the world of straight up punk rock.

Here, the driving forces of the record are easy-going punk melodies that are catchy and easily sing alongable. The references return to bands like The Dopamines, Banner Pilot, Cobra Skulls, The Lawrence Arms, and even Teenage Bottlerocket on a song like "No Lullabies". It's simple three chord punk that has no ambition of being anything else but just that, which is incidentally also the reason why it's so effective. Dead To Me don't have to rely on fancy solos nor anthemic melodies when their songs are just so easily likable.

Simplicity and melody have clearly been the main ideas behind the songwriting. They are simultaneously the biggest strength and the biggest weakness of "Moscow Penny Ante". On one hand, "The Trials Of Oscar Wilde", "The World Has Gone Mad" and "Undertow" are up tempo punk rockers that are difficult to criticize because they are so catchy without sounding superfluous or polished, but at the same time they reverberate between merely 'decent' and 'good' ratings. Never amazing, per se. But then again, Dead To Me have never aspired for artistic completeness. They have always just wanted to write catchy and fun punk rock that's not designed to take them to places, but to pack the small venues with sweaty sing alongs and fun times. In that sense, "Moscow Penny Ante" is a success, and certainly a far better album than "African Elephants".

Download: The World Has Gone Mad, Undertow, The Evolution Will Be Tele-Visualized
For the fans of: Cobra Skulls, Banner Pilot, The Dopamines, American Steel, The Lawrence Arms
Listen: Facebook

Release date 25.10.2011
Fat Wreck Chords

Dead To Me "Undertow" by Fat Wreck Chords

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