Hardcore with a poppy undertone? Melodic punk with some serious “don’t touch” quills on it? I don’t know. The Mostly Dead’s couched somewhere right in between the two. They sound something like the Riverboat Gamblers doing hardcore—there’s that bit of straight rock and roll swagger coursing through their veins, but the songs are still enmeshed in a fine coating of venom. Or maybe something like early Flatliners material with some ‘80s rock sped up and sprinkled on the surface. But again, there’s just a little something that’s keeping the rock and the hardcore elements at arm’s distance from each other. It’s definitely a decent record, but there’s just something about it (and that’s the shitty part, both for the band and whoever reads this: as a reviewer I can’t put my finger on what it is, what that little missing bit might be) that makes this 7” come across as cold and a little too clinical and distant, when this kind of punk sounds best when it’s blistering, lava-hot. A good record (and accompanying CD-R) that doesn’t quite make it into “awesome” territory.
–keith (Mighty Science)