Of the scores of indie bands out there, you should probably take heed to New York's Dead Men Dreaming and their sophomore release Last Call. Twenty or more indie bands cross the Dangerdog editorial desk each, but few are quite as entertaining and, can I say (gasp), original as Dead Men Dreaming. Maybe 'original' isn't quite the right word; perhaps 'creatively intriguing' might be better since, as one wise man once said, 'there is nothing new under the sun.' Nevertheless, this quintet, who has shared stages with Static-X, Type O Negative, Kittie, and Dope and have entertained crowds in Times Square, at Bamboozle New Jersey, and the notable South By Southwest festival, deliver the hard rock goods on Last Call.
I really like this whole album, though some parts are stronger than others. Call it post-screamo, post-grunge or simply something akin to current alt hard rock, DMD takes the best of melodic hard rock, circa the late 1980's, and injects it with some modern edge and energy. But they don't sound like Nickelback, Disturbed, or anything outside or in between.
DMD has a ambitious sense of creativity that breathes some unpredictable ingenuity into their compositions. They can equally rock (Table for 1, You Make Me High) or get near melodic metal (Remember to Forget, Up in Flames, the best song here) and then get into a hard party groove (Tonight Gonna Party) while consistently giving the listener an authentic and accessible hook and melody. Deadmen can even give you some well-crafted sentimentalism as on Flow and For the Ones that We Love (without being stupid sappy). This simple combination of versatile song composition and street level melodic wisdom, gives the listener undaunted enthusiasm to discover what the next song holds. To this end, songs like You Make Me High or For the Ones that We Love are pure 'single' radio-ready material for the masses (and certainly please the modern rock crowd). Yet, As I remarked earlier, some songs were (slightly) weaker than the others including Table for 1 and A Part of Me. The simple reason is that they had a certain recognizable familiarity of current music. Nevertheless, they do not detract from the whole of Last Call (and even now, after the third spin, they are growing on me.
A few final thoughts before closing. Producer Jim Wirt (Incubus, Hoobastank) certainly drew the best from the whole DMD crew. Also, kudos to singer Mike Triana for his impressive strength and range throughout. However, I think I was mostly impressed with the skills of drummer Dima Shnaydman, especially on Up In Flames (awesome song, but I think I mentioned that already).
Dead Man Dreaming's latest Last Call is silver platter of some of the best American modern melodic hard rock. Neither formulaic nor predictable, Last Call intrigues, entertains and seriously rocks. Strongly recommended.
Dead Man Dreaming's latest Last Call is silver platter of some of the best American modern melodic hard rock. Neither formulaic nor predictable, Last Call intrigues, entertains and seriously rocks.
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