Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Working Dead - Sleep

I was in this band called Atomic Potato. And we went on what you might loosely call a tour in December 2009. It was only kind of a tour, since we used an mp3 player for drums, and we had to use a stand-in it was just me on trombone, with a guitarist and a substitute bassist. Recipe for success, right? Anyway, we had a show in Orlando at this bar with two local bands, Campfire Suburbia (Tim McGowan's band) and the Working Dead. This show took place in this quaint little bar in the middle of homeless central. While we were setting up, this old homeless dude hugged me, and then everytime he saw me after that he'd go "THIS GUYYYYYY!" He kept getting kicked out, as well as the other homeless dudes. It was pretty weird and awkward. The hugger bum kept getting in The Working Dead's way in the stage area during their set. It was pretty crazy.

ANYWAY, The Working Dead. I immediately loved this band from the moment they started playing. This dude Jeff Fonseca way playing the guitar like a monster. This was proven by the fact that he broke his low E string, borrowed another band's guitar...and then broke their low E string. He paid them back, don't worry. Their bassist did the majority of the vocals from what I remembered, and he was pretty sweet at bass too. We're not talking intricate bass lines or anything, just awesome execution. I suck for not paying attention to the drummer, Taylor. I'll make up for it by paying attention in this review? Possibly. They ended up covering Pray For Rain by The Ergs, and this definitely pleased the heck out of Tim and I.

So The Working Dead are the reason I actually stumbled upon Death to False Hope Records. I was talking to Jeff about booking a show in Orlando for a tour, and I found out that they just put out an EP for free online...and it was put up on DTFH for free download. This is when I noticed that Mixtapes had shit on there...and there was loads of albums from bands I'd never heard on there, too! It was heaven, and it came at no cost. So, I downloaded Sleep by the Working Dead...and then like 20 other albums. But some of those albums have been reviewed by us already, and some of them probably will be in the future. What's important now, though, is Sleep. And pizza. Pizza is always important. (Fact: Bear doesn't like pizza. WHAT THE FUCK?)

Okay, "Fire In October", you go ahead and start the album off with some chord picking. Oh wait, you just got really heavy. Fuck yeah! The vocals are so damn good. I have a thing for good vocals, as you'll probablydefinitely notice if you read more than one review. These vocals are powerful, the backups mesh perfectly, and it's all just so rad. This band may be in the company of pop punk bands, and enjoy covering the Ergs and all, but they're not some cut and dry pop punk band. I would lump them in with the genre, but with more of an edge, and they definitely represent a broader range of influence. The guitar leads in this song have this awesome, almost mysterious sounding tone, and it's not some Teenage Bottlerocket "play the vocal melody on guitar" nonsense either (nothing personal). The guitar is its own instrument; it doesn't play bitch to the vocals.

The next song, "What a Fool" is more of the same. It's pretty similar in tempo to the first song, but starts off immediately powerful. The two frontmen switch vocals on and off at parts in this one, and both have a great voice. They're both a bit on the gruffer side, but the backup vocals are a bit higher and they go together really well. The song has an overall somber feel to it, which is something you'll notice throughout this EP. I like the recording quality for this release a lot, and I really like how all the songs flow into each other really well. The transition into the third song "Lost Vegas" is really great. The other vocalist takes the lead for this song, and while you may miss the lead vocalist a bit, you'll fall in love with this one as well. You know what I like about bands like The Working Dead? They use real drums. So many bands put all this effort into perfecting their fake drums or realligning their real drums until they sound like fake drums. This guy knows his drum parts and can clearly handle it. The third track is over pretty quickly compared to the other songs on this EP, clocking in at 1 minute and 51 seconds. Good thing I can listen to it on repeat whenever I want.

Now for the title track of the album! "Sleep" starts off with vocals on top of rung out chord strums. Be ready for a vocal heavy song, at least for this point. This is the song where the bass was finally audible to me for the most part, but only occasionally. I think the is the bass was recorded could use some upgrading for future releases. This song may be over 4 minutes long, but it still feels like I could've listened to it for another 4 minutes. It really is a shame that the bass wasn't recorded louder or with a better tone, because there's this awesome part that is mainly bass and drums, and the drums sound fucking awesome, but the bass is lacking in power and tone. It's disappointing, but I'm sure it's fucking incredible when played live.I really can't wait to see this band again, so they better hit up Cincinnati with their next tour. Because I'll be at the show, and I'll bring the bear along with me. The song ends with the cool lead guitar tone doing some ominous shit, dude. And then guess what should happen next? Fire In October should start again because you should have the EP on repeat. If not, then you did it wrong. Download this fucker from DTFH, now, dude. You can like them on facebook if you like this EP, too. Do it to it.


UPDATE: Was just informed that this band has broken up. FML. I guess we won't get anything out of them in the future? Sucks. I hope the dudes do something else soon.

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