Dead Channels – C.R.E.A.M. (Manic Progression/Shattered Ego Records)
This is 2012. Bands often spend more time coordinating outfits than worrying about silly notions such as their own integrity or what their legacy will look like if they manage to kiss enough ass to seperate themselves from the herd. When the quality of your music is dictated by desperate businessmen or the ability to make drunken women with daddy complexes wet, you’ve produced the equivalent of a walmart quality landscape painting in what should be a wall reserved for Picassos. With that said, it makes the occasions when you do find someone worthy of holding a brush that much more special. Dead Channels gets it.
What Dead Channels has released here is a three song 7″ titled Cash Ruined Everything Around Me. Bassist/Vocalist Angelo Mosca told me it’s ‘somewhat of a concept EP’. The trilogy of songs within cover the topics of being in an honest band in a very dishonest, and I’ll just say it, bad time for music. The first song, Substance Abuse, tackles the topic of bad bands in positions of success. “Won’t sing along to your preacher song, like sirens to deaf ears/You work the stage like an usher the plate”. The second song, PMA vs. 401K, is an ode to the frustration of having to work a day job that you hate. The last song in this trilogy to the thankless joy of being in a band, Dirt Poor, deals with the illusiary quality of material things and the inner struggle to search for what truly matters in a world where you need to eat to survive. “Father don’t label me failed yet, I only want good things same as you. My blood, and my friends, this band is my family./ And I’ll keep working on quote “meaningless things”,like love and respect. And when I’m finished you can cash the checks, but the ground hasn’t covered me yet.” I don’t generally like to do reviews song by song like this at all, but I feel the topic and the flow of this ep call for it. As someone who was in an underground band for a good many years, this speaks to me.
Musically, this is no departure from 2011’s Soul Pollution. The music is hectic and conveys a sense of urgency. Much like on Soul Pollution, the vocals are used as a fourth instrument to round out this three piece. This adds to the raw quality and makes the subject matter feel sincere. This ep shows Dead Channels achieving a stride and comfortablity in their music that should make people eagerly await their next album.