DEAD BARS: Regulars: CD

For a long while I’ve been saying Dead Bars are one of my favorite local Seattle bands. It’s time to drop that qualifier. They’re one of my favorite bands, period. Have I been hearing some of these songs live over the past year or so? Yes, but I have never heard them like this. The guitars are huge—a personality all their own. I suspect the vocals were slightly pushed back to bring up these arena rock riffs and fuzz effects. Fret not though; John Maiello comes through snotty and clear, albeit a little quieter in the mix. His trademarked raspy sing shouts are still carrying us through Ramones level lyrical simplicity. “Producto Toxico” starts off with a sweet, slow tempo guitar riff and an egg shaker for several measures until Maiello swoops in with a story about drinking Pacifico in Mexico. It’s way Tom Petty, but also way rock’n’roll. Then “Rain” comes charging in with these harmonies and Thin Lizzy leads and it just gets to me. How can a song about walking home in the rain make me want to dance and cry at the same time? I love Dead Bars. It’s almost not even fair to us that they are this good of a band. Do we deserve Regulars? I’m willing to find out. –Kayla Greet (A-F)