Dead to Me
Little Brother


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nick Greer EMERITUS
October 28th, 2008 | 14 replies | 8,723 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: San Francisco punk album caps off a nice year for Fat Wreck's rough and tumble bands.

Dead to Me - Little Brother

Fat Wreck has recently been on fire with their more rough-around-the-edges rock-leaning punk groups. American Steel released their first album in 5 years, Destroy Their Future, last October and The Loved Ones combined punk, rock, folk, and blues on the early year front runner, Build & Burn. If only The Gaslight Anthem weren't signed to SideOneDummy, or Dead to Me's new album had been a full length instead of an EP, they'd be batting three for three for the past year's output. Dead to Me, another great San Francisco punk band featuring members of One Many Army (they had 15 minutes of 15-year old girls listening to their music because of a split with Alkaline Trio), are now following up their debut LP, Cuban Ballerina, with a catchy and melodic EP, Little Brother, that ends too soon but is great while it lasts.

Dead to Me's sound on this EP is all over the map within the niche subgenre of the aforementioned rock-inspired punk bands. There's a bit of Against Me! and American Steel in the reggae-inspired "Little Brother," which feels like the best track Against Me! never wrote for Searching for a Former Clarity. Then there's "Ran That Scam," a track that alternates upbeat hi-hat patterns with classic punk chord progressions. The bass work and vocals at the end of the song feel downwind enough of Hot Water Music to catch a whiff of the influence but not an overwhelming one. The opener, "Don't Wanna," tempers a slightly bratty pop punk chorus with sandpaper vocals and bitter production, making the overt catchiness exhilarating instead of cloying. "Arrythmic Palpitations," the softest song on the album, is anything but fluffy, as the track ends on an uplifting final chorus. Dead to Me has a nice range of influences, none of which are too obvious, and their style, though an amalgam, feels like its own singular creation. They're the product of learned punk roots but have their own characteristic sound.

Other than the fact that it ends after only 13 minutes, Dead to Me can be faulted for the disparity between the obvious centerpiece of the album, "Little Brother" and the other tracks. "Little Brother" is by far the most accomplished song they've written to date. Its use of reggae and ska is inspired, all of the melodies are memorable and catchy, the instrumental work is tight but fun, the chord progressions are delightfully unexpected, and each part of the song is slightly different and pushes and pulls the punk energy immaculately throughout the large scale structure of the song. With "Little Brother," Dead to Me have achieved a track that transcends the typical glue-sniffing of other rough-around-the-edges punk without losing the x-factor that makes punk so fun (huffing paint maybe?). As a result all of the other tracks on the album feel like filler. I'd be curious to see what Dead to Me do in the future with a truly mature song in their arsenal. Will they put out another fun and brash punk album, or will they step up to the plate and produce a truly classic album? For now all we have is Little Brother, an awesome but in some superficial ways, an unfulfilling 13-minutes.



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user ratings (35)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
CushMG15
October 28th 2008



1802 Comments


Haha, I actually listen to that OMA/Alk 3 split quite a bit. I'll check these guys out. Oh yeah, good review.This Message Edited On 10.28.08

NMBlack
October 28th 2008



4 Comments


i ran out to get this today and braved a huge storm chock full of ice and snow, but when i got to the local (retail ) music store, they had already sold the one copy they got in. needless to say, i was perty damn disappointed, but i've heard all of this ep already and i really like it. dead to me just continues to get better in my eyes. definitely one of the best bands out there right now. good review, little low though :P

Kiran
Emeritus
October 28th 2008



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sounds like something I'd love.

Gonna try and find this.

HighandDriving
October 28th 2008



3288 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Shit I forgot this was coming out.

So stoked to listen to this Cuban Ballerina was one of my fav punk releases of all time.

tinathefatlard
October 29th 2008



1597 Comments


Great Review, you wouldn't happen to actually be from the Bay would you?

DFelon204409
Emeritus
October 29th 2008



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I am in fact from the yay urea.

Spamue1G
October 29th 2008



1292 Comments


Punk bands have been branching out a lot recently, which is nice... But too many of them take folk influence for my liking.
Great review, as expected This Message Edited On 10.29.08

Kiran
Emeritus
November 4th 2008



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is fucking sweet.

Rudd13
November 8th 2008



952 Comments


Good review indeed.
I believe the band has steered away from their early, more fierce punk rock stage, and into a bit more generic song structure. By the Throat and Visiting Day off their first LP were just a superb combination of melodic vocals and piercing punk music that made me easily praise the entire album.
I had been waiting for a while and I'm slightly disappointed in their new direction but nevertheless there are a couple good tunes on this EP. The first and last songs on here are pretty catchy, and are presented well. It also seems as the more spontaneous drum patterns have slightly faded, and appear to me as a bit more straightforward.
Here's to me hoping there's some older-fashioned, pulsating gems on their second full-length outing.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
November 8th 2008



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The more I've listened to this the more I realize it rules. Gotta bump up my rating.

Also hey Rudd13.

Kiran
Emeritus
November 8th 2008



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can't get Arrhythmic Palpitations out of my head

Jawaharal
December 16th 2008



1832 Comments


I like dis

Anguish
September 28th 2009



10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Strongest pop/punk release of 2008. Every song rules.

Satellite
August 1st 2012



20728 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

little brother is the best song ever fuck anyone who disagrees

Digging: Spoon - They Want My Soul



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