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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dead Poetic -- Four Wall Blackmail


In the summer of 2002, I was settling into my college DJ gig well. The best part, of course (beside forcing thousands of people to listen to the sound of my voice): all the free music I received ahead of release dates. One day, we got two bands debut albums in the mail. The first was Dead Poetic's Four Wall Blackmail. The second was mewithoutYou's (A->B)Life.
I listened to the Dead Poetic first and enjoyed the singing/screaming dynamic, which wasn't anywhere near played-out yet ten years ago. Next, I listened to mewithoutYou's album, and thought it was weird. Then I gave the Dead Poetic album another listen. For some reason, I couldn't focus on it. I kept thinking about that weird mewithoutYou album. Over the next week, Dead Poetic went back to the radio station, while mewithoutYou stayed in my car (though I pulled it out to play during air-time). A few weeks later, I went to Cornerstone Festival, watched mewithoutYou play two absolutely insane shows, and forgot about Dead Poetic completely (I saw them at Cornerstone, too, but they played before mewithoutYou, so that memory kind of got steamrolled).
So my memory of Four Wall Blackmail is that is wasn't anything special. But as I listen to it now, I hear that I was wrong. Dead Poetic don't break any new ground with their debut album, but they play their mid-tempo, sing/scream hardcore quite well. Most of these songs are pretty well-written, but what surprises me more than anything on Four Wall Blackmail is how well-developed Dead Poetic's sense of dynamic is. The quiet and loud moments are perfectly balanced--a hint of something special, even though the band are so young. They don't know how to make great music yet, but they seem to have a grasp on what it is supposed to sound like, and they are on their way to it. That makes Four Wall Blackmail not a paint-by-numbers affair, but an exciting glimpse into Dead Poetic's future.

2002 Solid State Records
1. Burgundy 3:43
2. The Corporate Enthusiast 3:06
3. A Green Desire 3:30
4. Four Wall Blackmail 5:31
5. August Winterman 4:02
6. Ollie Otson 3:33
7. Bliss Tearing Eyes 4:05
8. Stereochild 4:20
9. Arlington Arms 3:06
10. Tell Myself Goodbye 3:21

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