Running rampant on the streets of San Fransisco since 2007, Get Dead has been on my personal radar for years. This effervescent quintet consists of Sam on lead vox, Mike and Kyle on guitar, Tim
Running rampant on the streets of San Fransisco since 2007, Get Dead has been on my personal radar for years. This effervescent quintet consists of Sam on lead vox, Mike and Kyle on guitar, Tim on bass, and Scott on drums. These dudes radiate ADHD vibes and civil delinquency at its finest. Yet somehow, they manage to rein that energy in to create their sound and turn it into magic.
Dancing With the Curse is their fifth album as a band and the third to be put out on Fat Wreck Chords. The follow up to their 2016’s Honesty Lives Elsewhere, I was eager and anxious to review this LP. The aforementioned full length is one of my favorites and I spin it often. It was going to be hard to follow that up for me, but I was willing to give it a chance.
Released in August, “Disruption” rolls out Get Dead’s latest so I was already familiar with this track. It’s very anomalous at first for me with King’s gruff vocals leaning more towards his hip-hop influence than punk rock. I was apprehensive, but after a couple run-throughs, my head began to bob along. I kept listening.
“Stick Up” was the first stand out song for me, cos there is no better battle cry for our times. 2020 has been a strange creature. The economic and social pressures blended with political uncertainty and a global pandemic has left many people on the edge. This song is dripping with the angst that we are all carrying inside our souls right now. And just like that discontentment that has been brewing over time, it crescendos into fiery vehemence. “What the fuck did you think was gonna happen?”
Up to this point, Dancing with the Curse has been an impassioned, emotional undertaking. As with all Get Dead’s music, I was expecting that. I was not expecting the sincerity and tenderness of “Glitch,” however, based on the previous tracks. A ballad of sorts about ending a relationship and figuring life out afterward, this hit a little too close to home for me. “Cursing my own name for the mess I’m in” could be the tagline of my life. Sometimes issues get to be too much and that ruins what you have with someone. I love that this song was left without conclusion, cos there is never a right answer in these situations.
“8 Track” and its chunky guitar riffs had me dancing from the start! Then I honed in on the lyrics and my heart shattered. It’s like the prelude that leads to the end of a toxic relationship. Lyrically raw, much like the rest of this album, this song has a completely different vibe and its my favorite. “This only goes one way. Trapped with you on a 8 track tape on an endless loop” is exactly how that scenario goes and could not be described more perfectly.
I’ve listen to this album on repeat for a month now and I keep coming back to “Pepperspray.” It revisits their older acoustic style and builds intensity as it progresses. Even though it was written before the recent protests, it is 100% applicable to current affairs. The imagery built by the video released by the band is both gritty and guttural. We are always down with civil acts of disobedience here at Punksylvania.
“Take It” brings this full length to an end in standard Get Dead style, in your face and pertinent as fuck. Instrumentals roar before King’s cigarette induced rasp asks, “How far are you willing to take it?” This powerful song is organically generational for me. “We trusted you” was our parents era, “we see right through” is our time, and “we’ve done are part, now the rest is up to you” is hopefully the better world that we are leaving for our kiddos once this dumpster fire stops burning.
One of the reasons that I dig this band so much is that they always surprise me. They consistently have that NorCal flair as a baseline, but they are ever evolving. Each full length has its own sound and this one is no different. There were definitely different motives behind this creation process than the last and that shown through. Overall, this album is relevant and raw discontentment, but with resolve.
Get Dead recently partnered with our friends over at Stupid Rad, so get yourself some merch while you listen to their new album.