Dead Ahead

Dead Ahead EP

Written by: PP on 31/12/2015 14:34:39

Dead Ahead is a brand new punk rock unit featuring members of Autopilot Off and With The Punches in their roster. A somewhat unusual mix, one might add, given how Autopilot Off specialized in alternative rock fueled punk whilst With The Punches were one of the most explosive and straight up infectious easycore / pop-hardcore outfits on the scene. Curiously enough, their self-titled debut EP sounds nothing like either band, instead drawing from Make Do And Mend, and by extension, Hot Water Music for a tight, thick, dense punk rock expression that focuses on a depth-laden mid-tempo expression.

In practice, it means that the songs require a few extra listens to get into than usual because they are by definition catchy in a far more subtle manner than most other modern melodic punk bands. Instrumentally, the guitars drive the expression forward with intricate and well-structured riffage, supported by a thick, rumbling bass on the background that doesn't just follow the guitar lines but has a prominent role of its own. Yes, the expression is alternative rock based to an extent, but the soundscape will feel familiar to any HWM or Make Do And Mend fan.

Another band that should pop to your mind on occasion is Millencolin. "Rose Lenses", for instance, sounds a lot like the melancholic Millencolin tracks from "Home And Home"-era, except with a darker twist and some gang shouts in here and there. "Exit Letters", on the other hand, completes the comparison, though the HWM expression still haunts in the background. Similarly, "Cold Truth" borrows a little too much from The Ataris' version of "Boys Of Summer" in its opening verse, but again, the HWM/Make Do And Mend comparison stands strong.

In the end, Dead Ahead's approach to punk rock is not flashy by any means. It plays on its strengths, which equals a solid record (most HWM-inspired ones are), but at just four short tracks, it races by you a little too quickly especially considering how uniform the songs sound on the EP. That said, each track can stand on its own, so a full lenght's worth of songs this good should be something to look forward to, and it shouldn't surprise anyone if it's on par with Make Do And Mend's records.

Download: Cold Truth, Rose Lenses, Exit Letters
For the fans of: Make Do And Mend, Hot Water Music, Millencolin
Listen: Facebook

Release date 09.10.2015
Panic State Records

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