DEAD TROPICS: Self-titled: EP

I accidentally saw this band while I was waiting to see Army Of Ponch at the Fest 15. I was answering a work email and had to stop when they started playing “Call & Response,” a song that starts out with a Samiam-vibe until the gritty vocals charge in. This whole EP beautifully toes the line between punk and hardcore, especially the echoes of both early Grade and the low-down, dirty grit of the Sainte Catherines. More straight ahead than Portland’s deep noise punk reputation might suggest but with the mid-tempo pace you’d expect of a Pacific Northwest bunch. I bet it sounds equally great in a huge warehouse or a tight, sweaty bar. –Theresa W. (Self-released, deadtropics.bandcamp.com)