STRIKE ANYWHERE: Dead FM: CD

Wow! Has it really been three years since they released Exit English? Time really flies. I was thinking a year and a half tops. The brain is becoming jello faster than I thought it would. So I really like Exit English and the previous release Change is a Sound. I listen to them often. I also got a copy of To Live in Discontent. I didn’t get into it right away, and it got filed away. But this new release is a bit different. They still have the energy I cherished before, but the songs have an added melody and softness to them. It’s more about the song than trying to knock the wind out of you with the first note. Many of the songs are poppy and melodic with less emphasis on having to sound hardcore—like a lot of built up angst has been lifted. The lyrics are still in the same vein. So, what is different? I looked at the previous releases to see if they had recorded in a new studio. That was not the case. So I chalk this one up to maturity and growth. The songs don’t instantly jump at your face as in the past with the exception of the song “Iron Trees.” They come along at a controlled pace and carry you at a pace that is not frenetic. The guitars are more layered and it seems like a lot of writing and re-writing had gone on in preparation for this recording session. They are also less distorted than usual. The power comes more from the drums and bass guitar. Solid and warm. Thomas still remains to be the most phonetic singer out there today. Singing, yelling or screaming, I can understand what is being said without the assistance of a lyric sheet. It didn’t grab me on the first listen as they have in the past, but it is one of those releases that need multiple listens to really appreciate it. I appreciate it.

 –don (Fat)