About five years ago, someone played me Death By Stereo’s first full length. I liked it all right, but it never stuck with me. It’s not quite metal, but the flirtations are all over the place, like it’s seriously dating metal, but not married to it. Songs to Turn the Tide has all the trimmings of Death By Stereo’s early output. Marathon’s vocalist seems just as comfortable with the cancer polyp scream and a vocal strain that’s halfway between sultry and Slayer. When the instruments slow down from locked-in hardcore, it sounds like they’re fighting off the urge to solo and have listened to At the Drive-In a couple times too many. I also get an early Good Riddance vibe, mostly in the lyrics. Yeah, I agree with lines like “This war just fuckin’ stinks,” but they aren’t going to have me singing along with my fist in the air any time soon. In the end, it sounds like a young band that’s finding its own sound. From the label that released the fuckin’ smoking Strike Anywhere debut.
–todd (Red Leader)