Rally up the punks because misery has never sounded this fun before.
San Francisco’s Dead to Me has released Moscow Penny Ante like all select-honored rebels and it’s primo. Quite simply, this record is something you want to listen to while standing in the sun for hours or in a dirty nightclub. Either way, you’re still going to be sweating it up.
Lyrically not much has changed for the band. As mentioned, some of the lyrical topics are incredibly dark but it’s presented in a really eccentric way. Tyson “Chicken” Annicharico and Sam Johnson are still sharing vocal duties on songs that all round out to around maybe three minutes (give or take). Melodic solos after those three barre chords are just what Dead to Me does. The pace of opener “Undertow” is incredibly fast and the rest of the songs, though still speedy, have time to slow down and build amazing breaks.
You cannot deny funny song titles like “The Hand with Inherited Rings,” “I Love My Problems,” and “Dead Pigeon Tricks.” The previously mentioned song literally ends on the last line of, “You would think I’d be supportive, but now I don’t think so.”
Sure punk has that basic need to be different, and different Dead to Me is. Though the band is comprised of the leftovers of Western Addiction, One Man Army, and New Mexican Disaster Squad, they certainly aren’t like anyone else. For proof, sample the band’s biography on interests besides music which include, “Fixed gear bikes, the Russian mob, old school hip-hop, crazy aesthetics, and silly fucking haircuts.” Those are their words, not mine. Wipe the floor with that, pop punk.
A straight-up 10 is “No Lullabies” because who could imagine that a punk band would write a fast lullaby about living on the street, always being tired, and cigarettes? Well, you have met your maker. This song is so striking on its own, but once the handclaps come in, give up like you would on rubik’s cubes. You will spend the rest of the day with a mind utterly lambasted.
Runners-up on “it’s so good that it’s puzzling” include “The Trials of Oscar Wilde” and “The Monarch Hotel” for building slow progressions to gang vocals. These songs take this record from average to above average with every spin.
Ending with “The World Has Gone Mad,” it features all the best parts of Dead to Me in one song. And to which I reply to the title of the song: indeed. So forget about the dress code and evaluation of anarchy- Moscow Penny Ante is addictive.