Saturday, July 2, 2011

Dead Aces new CD Ain't That Bad Unless You Believe MRR

Older zine readers, punk fans or what have you probably remember the day when a review or mention in Maximum Rock n' Roll (or even Flipside) was a badge of honor.  Over the years there have been many changes including the homogenizing of the scene in general, the closing of Flipside and the death of MRR founder Tim Yohannan.  While MRR soldiers on into yet another decade, it seems that the hipster mentality has crept into the hallowed pages of this once mighty and influential zine.  Reviews are overly negative and unless you have some kind of weird basement show street cred, play The Fest or reside in Bay Area, you're almost certain of getting either quick afterthought one sentence review or an extremely bad review.

All 3 of Rebel Sound Records' most recent releases have been blasted by MRR and it's almost to the point that I expect to read that the bands RSR has chosen to work with plain old suck.  I usually advise the bands I'm working with to not bother sending MRR anything because they'll most likely trash it.

Troy NY's Dead Aces spent quite a bit of time with Don Fury at his upstate NY recording facility and you know what?  Their record is good, so good in fact it surprised me.  Some of the songs from their previous demo appear here and they've been updated to the point that they kick the demo versions out of the pit.  Fury managed to capture the band at their best as would be expected, but I still think recording with him can be a gamble.  What good does "produced by Don Fury" mean if you've recorded really bad songs?  You're only going to sound as good as the source material and if your songs aren't good he can only use so much polish on a turd before it becomes an expensive historical document.

13 tracks is a perfect amount for long time fans and new fans alike.  You can sing along to most of these songs and they sound familiar while still sounding fresh, which isn't easy to do.  For me personally, Oi! is a very British/European style and it's always been hard for American bands to get it right.   On "Best of Luck in Your Future Endeavors" their Oi! influences show without sounding cliched and are elevated above bands who rely too much on following a particular formula when they write.  Throw in some punk, hardcore and even rock n' roll to give you a good idea as to what Dead Aces sound like. It's a solid album and after 4 years of performing and writing, it's nice to hear someone actually get it right for once.

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